Goodbye, Michael Strahan?
Hello... Richard Curtis?!?
Maybe, just maybe. As unexpected as this may seem. Allow us to explain...
Back in May, Strahan left his seat as a co-host on Live! with Kelly in order to become a full-time correspondent on Good Morning America.
The move - or, to be more specific, the way the move was negotiated and then announced - did not sit well with Ripa, who made her feelings of disrespect and irritation well known to producers.
And to the public, really.
The last week of her and Strahan as co-hosts made for awkward, tension-filled, must-watch television.
After Strahan departed the popular morning program, Ripa and company did not announce a full-time replacement.
Instead, she returned with new episodes (and a new logo!) and said she would be auditioning a rotating cast of famous characters for the gig.
From Jeff Gordon to Neil Patrick Harris to Anderson Cooper, new stars sat next to Ripa on a daily basis.
But one has apparently stood out from the rest, although he is anything but a star.
His name is Richard Curtis. He's a high school teacher from Pennsylvania and he won a social media contest to guest-host Live! for a morning alongside Ripa.
According to TMZ sources, Curtis "blew everyone away" with his stint on the show last Friday.
As a result, producers have decided to bring Curtis back again next month for an episode and are seriously considering him as a long-term replacement for Strahan.
An insider tells TMZ that the feedback on this teacher was "universally positive," as staffers were shocked by his poise and self-confidence.
A 30-year old father of two, Curtis was overwhelmed by the experience on set last week.
"So there's tough days at the office and then what I experienced today! Oh, my, gosh!!!!" he wrote on Instagram after his episode aired.
"This has been a whirlwind of awesomeness!"
Curtis included the above photo of himself and Ripa along with this caption.
You can watch the video at the very top of this article to see Curtis in relaxed, funny, easygoing action with Ripa.
They seem to somehow have chemistry already.
Earlier this month, E! News reported that frequent guest co-host Jerry O'Connell is very interested in taking over for Strahan, writing at the time:
"Jerry's staying super positive about it, but says he's totally in the dark on the selection process," a source told E!.
"If he's chosen, he says he'll probably be the last to know. He's adores Kelly, though. If she asks, he'd love the job."
Look. O'Connell would be a fine choice. He's done a solid job every time he's appeared on the program. BUT ...
To be perfectly honest, we don't see it.
Would he really move the ratings needle? Would he really make a splash? The kind the show needs in such a competitive environment?
ABC has a chance here to groom its next star (and likely save a ton of contract money in the process).
It seems like a no-brainer to go with Curtis, especially considering his humble, gracious, sincere personality.
Richard wrote on Instagram Tuesday:
"I have no clever jokes. It's just me from the bottom of my heart saying thank you for giving me this opportunity. I cried like six times again today."
"It's so heartwarming."
"You guys got behind me, you supported me in a dream that was so outlandish that I could possibly sit next to Kelly Ripa and guys, I won and I feel like I did really well, but I'm not sure."
You did, Richard.
And we hope to see you back on the show many, many, many, many times in the future.