After six months, 51 co-hosts, lots of back and forth and too many teases to count, Live! With Kelly still hasn't filled the open seat beside Kelly Ripa since Michael Strahan's departure.

In fact, a source tells E! News, the decision could be made "as late as May," which is "what worked the last time she was searching for a co-host" after Regis Philbin left the show 2011.

Not to mention, the constant suspense of waiting for the decision has made for a very exciting couple of months for Live!, which of course means better ratings (if we're being honest here).

Strahan left the show on May 13 in order to take on a full-time position on Good Morning America. News of the departure sparked quite a bit of controversy between Ripa, Strahan and some of the big heads at ABC. 

However, things seem to have moved in a better direction as Ripa continues to seek a replacement co-host. In fact, President of the Disney/ABC Television Group, Ben Sherwood, said, "I was on the set of Live recently. The show is in great shape, Kelly is in a great place, the hunt for a new co-host is underway, the excitement is building, and I believe the future of that show is bright."

Kelly Ripa, Richard Curtis, Live! With Kelly

ABC

The future does, indeed, look bright as several amazing co-hosts have given the opportunity a shot over the last six months.

For example, the show held a competition for the public to partake in the search, and the winner—high school teacher Richard Curtis—proved to be quite the candidate. Not only did he reportedly blow everyone away, but he thoroughly enjoyed the experience, too!

"Hosting that show was incredible," he said in a post on Instagram shortly after co-hosting. "I'm ready to show America the guy they saw is who I really am! Blessed! This is all because my wife rocks and made me do it!!! Thanks Boo!!!"

Kelly Ripa, Jerry O'Connell, Live with Kelly

Twitter

But he's certainly not alone in wanting the job.

We've been told Jerry O'Connell is very interested in filling the seat, especially after delivering a successful Halloween show. "[He] really wants the job," a source told us last month. "He's made no secret that he would love to do it. He gets along great with Kelly and they have great chemistry. He's hopeful. He's having anyone he knows put in a good word."

Ripa has nothing but great things to say about O'Connell, too. "He was perfection," she said after their Halloween gig. "I have to tell you, not only were you perfection on-camera, he was perfection off-camera," she told him. "He made it incredible for us!"

Neil Patrick Harris, Kelly Ripa

Getty Images

But while there have been several people who have voiced their desire to take on the Live! co-hosting role, others have shot it down.

For example, Neil Patrick Harris came to the top of everyone's list when news of the search began, and though he's co-hosted a couple of times, the actor was never planning to take it on full-time.

"I've got another good job," he told E! News in September. "I'm doing a series for Netflix that'll happen in January and that takes up well over half my year. So the rest of my time is spent with my family, chilling and relaxing."

He did, however, mention how fun it is to do Live! here and there. 

"The fun thing about Kelly is that you get to show up at 8:30, be on TV at 9, shoot the breeze, meet some fun people and then you're out by 10:07," he explained. "So it's a nice gig, but I wouldn't want to do it all year long."

So it seems the search continues and the trial list of 51 co-hosts will only continue to grow!

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