Mark Consuelos Keeps His Chin Up After First Show As Kelly Ripa's Co-Host Falls Flat

When Ryan Seacrest announced he would be leaving "Live with Kelly and Ryan" after six years, it seemed like an obvious choice to have Kelly Ripa's husband, Mark Consuelos, host alongside her. "It's bittersweet. We have such a great relationship and friendship and working relationship. Mark is going to take over and he and I have the same kind of relationship so it's going to be an exciting last few weeks," Seacrest shared during the 2023 Oscars (via ABC). On his upcoming hosting duties, Consuelos stated, "I start the show on April 17, which is a Monday. I couldn't be more honored and excited."

Unfortunately, Consuelos and Ripa's first day as official co-hosts was not well-received by viewers. The show tweeted, "Mark Consuelos had a great first day! #KellyandMark" but many disagreed. One fan responded, "Your first show together today was horrible, painful. I turned it off." Another called Ripa out for constantly interrupting her husband and wrote, "Kelly please LET Mark finish his sentences. Otherwise, this is gonna be hard to watch every day." A fashionista complained about Consuelos' casual first-day attire. "Can Mark please dress up for the show. Jean jacket?? Jeans?? I expected better from him. What is the goal to make it look like he could care less about the show??" they replied.

Despite the bad reviews, Consuelos is remaining positive and shared his thoughts on his first day with Ripa and his future on "Live with Kelly and Mark."

Mark Consuelos feels at home co-hosting next to Kelly Ripa

Mark Consuelos is not going to let a few negative comments ruin his first day on "Live with Kelly and Mark." After his debut, he told Us Weekly, "This show today truly felt like home. I always feel at home with Kelly but [working] together this morning just felt so right." Consuelos shared that he and Ripa always felt at ease when together, adding, "I can't wait to see where we can go from here." His former "All My Children" co-star had only praises for Consuelos. "Mark did amazing! Better than I even thought. I look forward to a long TV partnership with him. He's a natural and I have a good feeling this is going to be great for a while."

Viewers weren't digging Consuelos' second day, either. "Gosh I don't know with them together, I am not a fan. Loved Ryan and all his stories, he brought another layer to the show. Kelly and Mark look uncomfortable together, it's hard to watch. Mark as a fill in cohost was fun to watch. This isn't fun to watch anymore. Need Ryan back," a viewer tweeted. "So I'm sorry but this won't work. It's like a morning reality show with a washed up couple," another mused. Still, it wasn't all negative feedback, and one fan tweeted, "I LOVE them together!! I want to know the secret to their beautiful marriage and family."

Mark Consuelos initially thought permanently co-hosting 'Live' was a bad idea

While Mark Consuelos has been guest hosting on "Live" and occasionally filling in for Ryan Seacrest for years, he wasn't initially on board with the idea of being a permanent co-host, and neither was his wife, Kelly Ripa. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, the couple admitted to feeling hesitant when they were first pitched the idea.

"We were like, 'Wait, that seems like a really bad idea,'" he recalled. "And we started making a pros and cons list and we were like, 'Wait...'" Apparently, after much deliberation, Ripa dished that they both realized that they were "all pros," with Consuelos noting that since they had a long history of working together and were a well-oiled machine both on and off camera, becoming workmates again just made sense. "All the pros stacked up against the cons," he said.

Eventually, they both agreed that Consuelos was indeed the obvious choice to replace Seacrest, considering how their roots can be traced back to the same network. "Mark and I owe everything we have in our professional lives to ABC. We met there at the beginning of our careers and got married and had our kids while there," Ripa told Us Weekly. "So many wonderful moments have happened while with ABC, so it only makes sense for us to come full circle and work together once again for the show that has given us so much joy and so many years of memories."

ABC was reportedly adamant about hiring Mark Consuelos

Naysayers aside, ABC knew what they were doing when they approached Mark Consuelos to be a "Live" co-host. Page Six reported that the network had been trying to get Consuelos to agree to join the show roughly a year before Ryan Seacrest revealed his plans to leave. A source told the outlet that thanks to the glowing feedback they had been getting when Consuelos would guest host, ABC thought he was a "built-in host" for the program.

"They seemed pretty set on Mark," Kelly Ripa told Variety. Meanwhile, the show's executive producer, Michael Gelman, gushed that Consuelos was "the perfect choice" and hiring him was a no-brainer. "When we were booking Kelly, we were booking Mark. He's been here," he explained. "People have always been fascinated when he comes on because you're not just hearing two friends. Now you're hearing things that are going on in real relationships, like, 'You were snoring last night.' People like that, so it wasn't a hard decision."

As for Consuelos, he said that he's not taking anything for granted and is aware that he has big shoes to fill. "I think I just need to separate myself from the husband role, and just focus on being someone who's been hired to take that coveted spot," he shared. "The show is the No. 1 talk show in daytime. It's like coming on to a championship team — and being a pivotal part of a team, you just don't want to screw up."