Kelly Ripa's next co-host may be Mario Lopez: Wait, what?

Apr 30, 2016 at 10:10 a.m. ET
Image: Mike Coppola/Getty Images

You might say Mario Lopez has served his time on television. The actor's most famous role is probably A.C. Slater on Saved By the Bell, but Lopez has also performed on Broadway and as a host for both Extra and The X Factor. And, now, the major leagues could be knocking on his door: There's a rumor that Lopez may host Live! with Kelly Ripa after the contentious news broke that Michael Strahan is leaving the show (and that the network may have disrespected Ripa by keeping it a secret from her).

Ellen DeGeneres held Lopez's feet to the fire, interrogating him on her show about whether he would be up for the morning hosting gig. Judging by his answer, it certainly seems like he's thinking about it (and it also seems like the offer has been made or at least discussed): "That's very flattering," Lopez said. "I know some people who were saying that. Again, very flattering. I love Kelly. I've guest-hosted with her a few times. She's awesome... I'm looking forward to going back and guest-hosting."

He continued, "I gotta go over everything with Mrs. Lopez. She's the real boss of the house, so we'll see what she has to say about that."

More: Kelly Ripa tried to address the drama — but I really think she avoided the whole thing

Not so fast, however. Lopez isn't the only charismatic male TV star who adores Ripa and would kill for the job. Alfonso Ribeiro reportedly already volunteered to relocate from Los Angeles to New York City if producers thought he was a good fit for Live! And Anderson Cooper, one of Ripa's BFFs, had nothing but lovely things to say about the opportunity to work with her.

"Kelly is the heart and soul of that show, and it's going to go on and continue to be great, and I wish Michael the best in his new endeavor," the 60 Minutes correspondent and CNN anchor said on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. "Look, I'm very happy at CNN. It would be a dream to work with Kelly, but nobody's offering anything, so..."

More: Shay Mitchell lands a temporary hosting gig — is this her next career move?

Personally, I think Cooper is just being sweet. As much as I'm sure he loves and supports his friend, he already has a successful career at a different network. Lopez seems like a good match for the show, but the choice for Pretty Little Liars' Shay Mitchell as a temporary host also begs the question: does Live! need a male co-host to fill Strahan's shoes, or will they consider another strong female host?

And who does Ripa want to work with? Give the TV vet a say in the matter — she has certainly earned that respect.