Tuning In to TV: Ex-NFL star Strahan becomes Kelly Ripa’s co-host

Former football star Michael Strahan joined “Live With Kelly” as permanent co-host Monday, fulfilling a joking prophecy he made to Regis Philbin more than four years ago.

The gap-toothed former New York Giant jogged onto the morning show set and picked up co-host Kelly Ripa in a bear hug, lifting her off her feet. He replaces Mr. Philbin, who left in November. Mr. Strahan was the survivor in a series of on-air tryouts of potential co-hosts since Mr. Philbin left, and his hiring has been an open secret for the past two weeks.

Mr. Strahan appeared relaxed and amiable on his first day, and drew “ahhhs” from women in the studio audience when he presented Miss Ripa with a dozen red roses.

“It’s so nice to have a co-host literally sweep you off your feet,” Miss Ripa said, “and I know that he can bench press me if he wanted to.”

Miss Ripa played a clip of Mr. Strahan’s first appearance on the show in 2008, shortly after the Giants had won the Super Bowl. Mr. Philbin asked Mr. Strahan what he would want to do after retiring from football, and Mr. Strahan said that Mr. Philbin’s job looked pretty good.

“I was joking,” Mr. Strahan said on Tuesday, “and I’m glad the joke came true.”

Mr. Philbin was the original “Live” host for more than 28 years, with Miss Ripa joining him in 2001. Mr. Strahan said Mr. Philbin set the benchmark. “I am in awe of him,” he said.

Mr. Strahan is one of several new faces in daytime television this fall. Steve Harvey begins a new talk show Tuesday. Katie Couric, Ricki Lake and Jeff Probst also have new shows starting in the next couple of weeks.

Mr. Strahan, currently a host of “Fox NFL Sunday,” towers over his co-host, who barely reaches his shoulders. When they sit next to each other, the seats are adjusted to minimize the difference.

Before bringing Mr. Strahan out, Miss Ripa joked about the lengthy search, advising people to stop sending her resumes.

“I have enjoyed every single solitary person except for one,” she said. “The staff is laughing because they know that’s true.”

Television actress Claire Danes was the revamped show’s first guest.

Investor group buying Dick Clark Productions

Dick Clark Productions, which produces TV programs including “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” and the Golden Globe Awards, is being sold to a group including investment firm Guggenheim Partners.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

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