Five months after Ryan Seacrest bid a tearful farewell to his cohosting position on Live With Kelly and Ryan, he made his big return to the morning talk show. Fans of the TV personality got the best shock when they saw him appear on the program’s iconic stage on Monday, September 18.
Kelly Ripa welcomed her former costar back on set with open arms. Her husband and now-cohost, Mark Consuelos, was also happy to see Ryan, 48, during the episode. The Riverdale actor was previously absent from the series, now renamed Live With Kelly and Mark, on September 14 due to an illness.
While Ryan’s presence on Live was only temporary this time around, he was thrilled to divulge details about the next chapter of his career — taking over for Pat Sajak as the new host of Wheel of Fortune.
“I have been a fan of this show forever,” he gushed. “Pat Sajak is a legend. I cannot believe I have the opportunity to take over for him. I cannot wait to be on that set and give out tons of money every night.”
Pat, 76, dished out some sound advice to Ryan ahead of his Wheel of Fortune debut, telling him it’s the “best job on TV.” The American Idol host is eager to start his game show reign next year and even purchased merch from the Wheel of Fortune website ahead of his debut.
“The merch is unbelievable,” Ryan said as he showed Kelly and Mark, both 52, his new Wheel of Fortune umbrella. His enthusiasm was infectious as the audience saw photos of Ryan arriving at the Live studio using his umbrella on the rainy New York City morning.
Appearing on Live wasn’t the only reason why Ryan made a trip to the East Coast. On Tuesday, September 19, the TV producer will be in town to celebrate the opening of his 13th Seacrest Studio, a new broadcast center for pediatric patients, at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in Queens. Ryan revealed that the process of opening up another studio was “so exciting.” His family was also in town ahead of the big event.
Prior to his Live appearance, Ryan spent the summer vacationing with his girlfriend, Aubrey Paige Petcosky, whom he has been dating since 2021. After the broadcaster announced his departure from Live in April, Aubrey, 25, shared a heartfelt message to Ryan on Instagram to show her support.
“Ryan, never have I ever met a more inspiring man,” the model captioned a carousel of photos at the time. “You make it look so easy, but the truth is there is just nobody quite like you. I am so beyond proud of you. Not just for your work ethic, but for your caring heart and the genuine love that you give to others.”