Many Live With Kelly and Mark viewers have pointed out that the talk show has looked a little different lately. For the second day in a row, Kelly Ripa was missing from the morning program on Friday, July 28.
The episode began with Mark Consuelos, 52, walking out onto the stage with guest cohost Deja Vu. She usually serves as the show’s announcer but has filled in as a cohost in the past on a number of occasions. Her vibrant personality and decades of broadcasting experience have made her a perfect fit at the Live news desk.
At the top of the hour, a disclaimer flashed across the screen to tell viewers that the episode was previously recorded. Mark did not immediately reveal the reason why Kelly, 52, was not present for the taping. He carried on with the broadcast as normal, interviewing guests Craig Ferguson and rapper Big Boi.
Kelly’s absence from the show came just after Anderson Cooper filled in for her during an episode on Thursday, July 27. Anderson, 56, is not unfamiliar with cohosting Live. He filled in a few times in the past for Kelly’s former cohost Ryan Seacrest.
Ryan marked his final episode on Live on April 14. Mark officially took over the cohosting role on April 17 after years of making guest appearances. Mark has settled into the role seamlessly, proving that he definitely has what it takes to keep the program running smoothly in his wife’s absence.
Viewers absolutely loved the banter between Mark and Anderson on stage as they hosted a cooking segment with chef Michael Symon.
“Anderson has [a] good sense of humor, this was a great segment,” one fan commented on a clip posted on the show’s Instagram account.
Kelly was also missing from Live on July 20 and July 21. During those episodes, Maria Menounos filled in for her and shared details about her newborn daughter, Athena, with the audience. She gushed over the sweet baby gift Kelly and Mark left in her dressing room backstage.
“I will take credit, but I had nothing to do with it,” Mark told the audience at the time. “My wife is the best gift-giver.”
While Kelly has not explicitly explained her recent absences from Live, she has been very focused on another TV project — hosting the game show Generation Gap. The ABC series is now in its second season with Kelly as the host. Her Instagram account is full of posts encouraging fans to tune in to the show, which recently featured her father, Joseph Ripa.
“Miss you on Live! Come back! Mark is doing a great job,” a fan wrote in a comment under one of Kelly’s recent Generation Gap-related Instagram posts.