Kelly Ripa Jokes She and Mark Consuelos Are Entering 'the Contractual Obligation Phase of Our Relationship'

After news of Ryan Seacrest's departure from Live, Ripa's new co-host (and husband!) quipped that, "after all these years of listening to [Kelly] talk for free, I found a way to get paid for it"

Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, Executive Producers of Family Reboot on Disney+
Photo: Maury Phillips/Getty

Kelly Ripa is ready for an exciting new era in her relationship with husband Mark Conseulos when he becomes her co-host following Ryan Seacrest's departure from Live with Kelly and Ryan.

After Seacrest's announcement on Thursday, Ripa, 52, joked on Instagram the pair will enter "the contractual obligation phase of our relationship" when Consuelos takes over on the rebranded Live with Kelly and Mark.

The television personality also congratulated Seacrest, 48, on "surviving six winters in NYC," adding, "I'm proud of you and am forever in your corner."

"OK NOW we're empty nesters. When your friends become work mates become family. ♥️,"she added.

The couple's friend Andy Cohen shared his excitement for the new pairing, commenting, "Now THIS is good TV! 👏👏👏👏👏👏" while Busy Philipps added,


In his own Instagram post, the Riverdale actor teased his "ride or die" Ripa about teaming up on the long-running ABC talk show.

"This is going to be amazing! I can't believe after all these years of listening to you talk for free, I found a way to get paid for it," he joked alongside a photo of the trio. "Is this a great country or what? ❤️"

kelly ripa, Mark Consuelos, ryan seacrest
Kelly Ripa/Instagram

Consuelos also sent his well wishes to Seacrest on his "next chapter."

"I love you like a brother," he shared. "I know I have some big shoes to fill … well actually they're only a size 9, but you know what I mean."

In a statement, the show's executive producer Michael Gelman expressed his excitement at welcoming Consuelous to the Live family. "As a fan-favorite guest host for years, Mark is no stranger to the Live family," Gelman said in a statement. "Having him join the show is so special for us and we're sure that viewers will feel the same."

For Seacrest departing the show after six years was bittersweet. "It was a tough, tough decision," he said during Thursday's broadcast. "Last year, we spoke and I made the decision to make this my last season as co-host with Kel, here, on Live with Kelly and Ryan, which is bittersweet."

Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos attend the Haute Living Celebrates Kelly Ripa And The Release Of "Live Wire" ; Ryan Seacrest arrives at the KIIS FM's iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2022
Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images; Steve Granitz/FilmMagic

Seacrest also shared a heartfelt message for Ripa: "I have to say to you as a dear friend coming in and as a best friend in this moment, to have your kindness, your thoughtfulness, your levity, your friendship — I look up to you, I respect you so much."

"I love the fact that we get the chance to sit here every day and connect with you at home in your kitchens, your living rooms, at work," he added. "There's nothing like this on television."

In a statement Thursday, Seacrest said that "working alongside Kelly over the past six years has been a dream job and one of the highlights of my career." Though he will miss working closely with his "amazing partner, friend, and confidant" on a daily basis, he is excited for Consuelos to take the reins.

"It's been a memorable ride and now I'm excited to pass the baton to Kelly's 'real' husband, Mark," he added.

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Live with Kelly and Ryan airs weekdays (check local listings).

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