Kelly Ripa was absent from Live with Kelly and Ryan for a fifth day in a row. After missing all episodes of the talk show this week, Ripa again missed Friday's airing. In her place, Harry Connick Jr. filled in, taking on co-hosting duties alongside mainstay co-host Ryan Seacrest.
Ahead of the episode, Live teased Connick Jr. would be taking on Ripa's duties. The show's official Instagram account shared a video of both the actor and Seacrest walking on stage, with Connick Jr. taking the seat that would typically be filled by Ripa. Despite acting as a fill-in, his appearance was applauded by fans, with one viewer writing, "I love Harry, miss watching him on his own show. He's just a great human. Him & Ryan together make a wonderful show." Another commented that it was a "great show," adding that "Ryan and Harry are a great way to start the day."
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Connick Jr. marked the latest guest co-host to join the show this week amid Ripa's unexplained absence. Ripa was missing both Monday and Tuesday from the show, with temporary replacement Maria Menounos co-hosting alongside Seacrest. Amid her continued absence on Wednesday and Thursday, Ali Wentworth took on co-hosting duties.
At this time, it remains unclear why exactly Ripa has been absent from the talk show. On Wednesday, the host took to Instagram to share a birthday message to friend Bruce Bozzi. While the post, which did not make mention of her absence, marked her first picture to her feed since March 17, Ripa had been sharing to her Instagram Story throughout the week, on Tuesday posting a video of her two dogs, Chewie and the family's most recent addition, Lena, the Maltese/Shih Tzu she recently adopted.
According to a source who spoke to Hollywood Life, Ripa's week-long absence is nothing for fans to grow concerned about, as she "annually takes time off at the end of March to spend time with her family," meaning its likely she could be spending spring break with her husband Mark Consuelos and their three kids, Michael, 23, Lola, 19, and Joaquin, 18. Her absence also comes as her husband prepares to celebrate his birthday on March 30, so she could also be taking some time away for that. At this time, it is unclear when Ripa is set to return to Live.