Oscars 2014: ‘Live With Kelly and Michael’ keeps the party going
Hollywood Boulevard was quiet on the Monday morning after the Oscars. The parties were over, the limos were gone, and the only people in the street were crew members taking down displays and picking up trash.
But 3,000 fans were lined up outside the lobby of the Dolby Theatre, where the “Live” staff had spent all night turning the Oscar stage into the set for the annual “Live With Kelly and Michael After Oscar Show.”
“We take over the theater at midnight,” joked Michael Gelman, the show’s executive director. “They [the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences] kind of hand over the keys.”
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“Live With Kelly and Michael” has seen its ratings soar this season as daytime TV viewers have become increasingly enchanted with the petite Kelly Ripa and the bulky former football star, Michael Strahan.
The reinvigorated show, which draws nearly 4 million viewers an episode, has been delivering its largest audience in seven years, growing 14% over last season and gaining ground on the top-rated syndicated talk show, “Dr. Phil,” which attracts an average of 4.22 million viewers an episode.
Gelman said the attendees for the show were from all over California, including Santa Barbara, Fresno and other cities. As early as 11:45 p.m. Sunday, fans arrived at the nearby Hollywood Bowl to wait for buses to take them to the Dolby.
Joey Jennings, who has attended the “Live” Oscars post-show all three years, was one of the first people in line.
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The South Carolina native is not new to live shows — in the last few weeks, he has been a seat filler at the Grammys and the NAACP Image Awards. Later in the day, he said, he was planning to attend a taping of a new game show.
“Going to ‘Live With Kelly and Michael After Oscar Show’ is tradition for me,” he said. “I love coming to live shows because you see stuff you wouldn’t normally see on TV.”
Making that happen was a team of behind-the-scenes workers hustling to prepare to go live at 6:00 a.m. with the live broadcast.
Inside the production truck — one also used for the Oscars — director Brian Chapman kept busy prepping his team of eight.
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“OK, everybody, 10 minutes to go,” said Chelly Campbell, the show’s associate director, gesturing to the screens in the room.
Meanwhile, Cirque du Soleil members, who wrapped up their dress rehearsal only 30 minutes earlier, made their way on stage to perform.
Right on time, the high-flying Cirque performers began a short performance featuring acrobats getting twirled by other acrobats while waving around lights.
Ripa and Strahan — who said they’d stayed up partying all night and indulging in In-N-Out burgers — cracked jokes, exchanged witty banter, and engaged with the crowd, which erupted into cheers of “We love you, Kelly!” and “We love you, Michael!” during commercial breaks.
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The “Live” special, now in its third year, featured clips of Strahan and Ripa from Oscar night — drinking Champagne with celebrities and interviewing them before the show — and Ripa backstage, interviewing the winners and presenters right after they exited the stage.
The “Live” bookers don’t know until shortly before the broadcast which Oscar winners — if any — will show up. Last year, Christoph Waltz, who won supporting actor for “Django Unchained,” popped by. This year it was supporting actress Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, from “12 Years A Slave.”
Nyong’o said “guilty as charged” when Ripa and Strahan asked about partying all night.
Wearing bright yellow shorts and matching jacket, the actress brought her friend “Oscar” and let Strahan hold it — but only for three seconds.
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“This is my golden man, Oscar,” she said, holding the award up as the audience cheered.
Also featured on the show was a panel featuring “Fashion Guy” Lawrence Zarian, “Extra” co-host Maria Menounos and style maven Carson Kressley.
“We’re all pinching ourselves that we’re on this stage together because incredible awards were just handed out right here,” Menounos said backstage. “I think the audience feels the same way.”
Indeed, as a video montage of the Oscars played in the background, the band American Authors wrapped up the show with a performance of their song “Best Day of My Life.”
“I think any time you take the show out of our studio in New York, it gives it a different excitement, a different sparkle,” Ripa said backstage. “To have it here, following the broadcast of the Academy Awards, is a whole other level of excitement and glamour.”
Times staff writer Meg James contributed to this report.
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