Anderson Cooper renews CNN contract, passes on Live with Kelly

CNN’s primetime anchor Anderson Cooper has renewed his contract with the cable network, scoops the Hollywood Reporter. His deal, according to some, is expected to run as long as five more years with CNN.

His new contract ends speculation that the anchor may join his friend, Kelly Ripa, at the ABC syndicated franchise Live!

Cooper let his AC360 staff know of his new contract this week, letting them know he wouldn’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

According to THR, Cooper’s “new CNN contract does still include a carve-out for Cooper to appear on CBS News’ 60 Minutes, where he does several pieces each season.”

Anderson Cooper wants Live! gig, but bosses are ‘hesitant’

According to a report from ET, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper wants to be Kelly Ripa’s Live! co-host, following the exit of Michael Strahan to Good Morning America.

But bosses at both networks, CNN and ABC, are reportedly “hesitant” about giving him the job.

ET notes that Cooper expressed his interest in hosting both Live! as well as his primetime show on CNN, AC360. Last week, Cooper guest-hosted alongside Ripa.

CNN is reluctant in allowing their primetime anchor to have split loyalties, given that CNN has pledged to go “all in” for the 2016 election. Cooper, who has hosted debates and town halls for the network, is a large part of CNN’s election coverage, alongside colleagues Jake Tapper and Wolf Blitzer.

ABC bosses, meanwhile, have concern over his failed talk show, Anderson, and aren’t completely sold on adding him to the succesful Live! franchise.

Anderson Cooper to co-host Live! on Wednesday and Thursday

On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, AC360 anchor Anderson Cooper will join ABC syndicated talk show Live! alongside his friend, Kelly Ripa, reports Brian Stelter in his newsletter.

It has been floated that Cooper is a frontrunner to join the Live! as Ripa’s cohost, replacing Michael Strahan, who left the show earlier this month to join ABC’s Good Morning America.

When it was mentioned during an appearance on Fox News, Cooper coyly remarked, “I’m always open to new opportunities.”

As Cooper told his friend (and, it’s worth noting, Ripa’s) Andy Cohen, “It would be a dream to work with Kelly, but nobody’s offering me anything.”

Anderson Cooper appeared on Fox’s Megyn Kelly

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper entered foreign territory this evening in his first appearance on Fox News’ The Kelly File, hosted by Megyn Kelly. The two are quite often timeslot competitors when AC360 is expanded to two hours.

The interview focused primarily on Cooper’s mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, and the documentary of her life, Nothing Left Unsaid, and the book the two wrote together, The Rainbow Comes and Goes. The HBO documentary will be re-airing on CNN this Friday at 9pm.

At the end of the interview, Fox’s Kelly hinted at the reports that Cooper may be a frontrunner to join his friend Kelly Ripa at her ABC-syndicated talk show, Live!

Cooper responded coyly, “No one has talked to me. I haven’t heard a thing about it. I love Kelly Ripa. Everybody knows she’s a great friend of mine… I’m very happy at CNN. I’m not going anywhere. I love CNN, and, um, look, I mean, I’m always open to new opportunities, as are you, from what I hear.”

Watch, via Mediaite:

Don Lemon’s name floated as cohost possibility for Kelly Ripa

Make that two CNN anchors whose names are being floated as a possible co-host for Live! alongside host Kelly Ripa: Don Lemon is now joining Anderson Cooper.

That Cooper’s name is being floated around isn’t too surprising; he and Ripa are friends, and he has been a fill-in cohost on the program in the past.

From a business perspective, adding Lemon to the ABC-syndicated morning talk show makes sense. As CNN president Jeff Zucker said in an interview, Don Lemon is a “lightning rod” — and that’s definitely true.

You can’t help but think if this is a gig that Cooper actually wants — and Lemon — that this could fuel some tension between the two CNN primetime anchors.

As it is, Lemon and Cooper both host very different shows; Cooper at 8pm is more of a traditional hard news program, whereas Lemon’s 10pm program is anything but hard news and focuses on the trendier news of the day, and Lemon has no problem making headlines for his controversies.

But… it is those same controversies that made one reporter suggest giving Lemon the 8pm primetime slot.

Live with Kelly Ripa and Anderson Cooper?

With the news that Live! co-host Michael Strahan is leaving the morning talk show to join Good Morning America, speculation is whirling as to whom Strahan’s replacement will be… and some talks have centered around CNN primetime anchor Anderson Cooper.

Cooper and Kelly Ripa are longtime friends, and Cooper has filled in on the show in the past during co-host Strahan’s absences or former co-host Regis Philbin’s absences.

PageSix reports that Cooper is the current frontrunner to replace Strahan as Ripa’s cohost, and given his proclivity to host fluff game shows at CNN, as well as his own (canceled) talk show, and his hard news Anderson Cooper 360 program, Cooper would probably be a welcome fit at Live!

ET cautions that Cooper will likely need CNN’s permission to host the talk show since he is under contract.

Cooper’s CNN contract is thought to expire after the election cycle.