Kelly Ripa has officially resumed normal production on Live with Kelly and Ryan alongside her co-host, Ryan Seacrest (which might explain why she was recently spotted wearing a rather relatable outfit on her way to work). In honor of the popular talk show’s official return to the studio, we couldn’t help but dig up these little-known facts about what goes down when the cameras aren’t rolling. From the background scenery to the rehearsed conversations, here are six things you (probably) didn’t know about Live with Kelly and Ryan.
1. Live is filmed in New York
Live with Kelly and Ryan is shot in the heart of Manhattan. The Lincoln Square studio is located on the corner of West 67th and Columbus Ave. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the series was filmed in front of a live audience (similar to The Ellen DeGeneres Show).
2. It’s a spin-off of Live with Regis and Kathie Lee
The show has aired under various hosts since 1983, but it didn’t gain widespread popularity until 1988 when it starred Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford. After 12 seasons, Gifford left the show, which prompted ABC to replace her with Ripa in 2000.
Live with Regis and Kelly was on air for a decade before Philbin retired from the series. Despite his departure as co-host, Philbin still held an active BTS role on the spin-off until his death in July 2020. Seacrest was added as Ripa’s co-host in 2017, following the departure of Michael Strahan (who co-hosted the series for four seasons).
3. The background scenery isn’t real
You know how the set seemingly overlooks the New York City skyline? Well, it’s actually a backdrop. Seacrest confirmed the theory on Instagram when he shared a photo of himself standing on the set’s “balcony.”
In the comments section, a fan questioned the legitimacy of the background scenery, writing, “And that isn’t a backdrop setting for the studio?” The show’s social media account responded, “Hahaha! What?! (Yes.)”
4. The co-hosts read off a teleprompter
Ripa and Seacrest’s on-screen banter might seem candid, but it’s somewhat rehearsed. Prior to each episode, the co-hosts are given talking points, which act as an outline for their conversation. The script is then displayed on a large TV monitor (which is situated in front of the cameras), so the hosts know when to break for commercial and what’s coming next.
5. And they don’t always sit next to each other
When Live resumed normal production after going virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic, producers implemented several safety measures to ensure they abide by social distancing guidelines.
This includes creating a six-foot distance between Ripa and Seacrest during the taping. In post-production, the crew edits the footage to make it look like they’re sitting next to each other, which is why Seacrest’s hand kept disappearing during the premiere episode.
6. Producers welcome fan-submitted questions
That’s right. The Live website encourages viewers to submit their questions and comments to the co-hosts. There are two ways to do this—first, you can send an online message via the show’s virtual inbox. Or you can do it the old school way and send a typed or handwritten (gasp!) letter to the studio’s official mailing address:
Live with Kelly and Ryan
7 Lincoln Square
New York, NY 10023
*Adds to address book*