Michael Strahan To Attract New Demographic To “Live”

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Goodbye Regis Philbin, hello… Michael Strahan? After months of speculation former New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan has emerged as the favorite to become Kelly Ripa’s co-host on “Live!”

According to latimes.com, after rotating temporary replacements for Philbin over the past few months multiple sources have reported that Strahan was selected as the new co-host.

On Monday, ABC-Disney Domestic Television, which produces the nationally syndicated talk show, announced that a permanent replacement had been chosen and would be revealed live on Sept. 4.

Although they acknowledge the selection of a new host, both ABC and Strahan’s representatives have declined to confirm reports that Strahan was chosen. The 40-year-old Strahan was one of 59 guest hosts during the search for a replacement.

Strahan has slowly built an impressive resume since retiring from the NFL in 2007, capitalizing on his loveable personality combined with his mammoth size and gap-toothed grin. He has pitched products like Right Guard and Vaseline, hosted shows for Spike TV and the DIY Network, all while becoming a staple on “Fox NFL Sunday.”

“Michael Strahan is the one that everyone actually likes, and that’s nearly impossible to do. That show exists as something to yell at before games,” said contributing editor of New York Magazine Will Leith. “Strahan’s a very likable presence on a program that has very few likable presences.”

Strahan’s presence on the show is expected to attract more male viewers to “Live!,” which has a primarily female audience.

Strahan’s addition isn’t the first time the creators of “Live!” have gone outside of conventional wisdom to select a co-host. When Ripa was hired to replace Kathie Lee Gifford in 2001 she was known mostly for her work as an actress on “All My Children.”

It is unlikely that ABC will confirm Strahan before the official Sept. 4 unveiling.

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