Behind the scenes with co-hosts of 'Live! With Kelly and Michael'


The day starts early inside the WABC building in New York. The set is buzzing with producers and directors rehearsing. On this particular day, they were also prepping for wild animals and actor Gerard Butler was that day's biggest celebrity.

But their most important guests were everyone who lined up to grab a good seat.

"The audience is everything. I mean to me, the audience is the third co-host," co-host Kelly Ripa said. "It's like guests coming over for breakfast at our house and we're having a conversation."

As the studio audience filtered in, they were rather quiet until a concerted effort by the show's executive producer, Michael Gelman, got them fired up.

Then moments before the show started, Ripa and Michael Strahan appeared on stage. It was show time.

"When you come out and they play music and you come from backstage, the energy of the audience just brightens your morning. It keeps you going. It makes the show," Strahan said.

The control room is the central nervous system of the show. It's in charge of the audio and cameras, counting down every second.

You've seen the segments on air. But what you don't see is what happens during commercial breaks. Yes, sometimes there's a quick make-up touch up, but mostly it is lots of fun.

It's also during the commercial breaks when you realize that to Ripa and Strahan, their live audience is everything. It's a tradition Regis Philbin started decades ago.

"I love talking in between the segments to the audience. I think that's great, too, because we want them to have a great experience when they come here to the show," Strahan said. "It's not just come and watch us do our thing and in between, we don't relate to you. No, we relate, we need them and we want to show that when they come."

The show airs at 9am weekdays on ABC13.

Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.