Kelly Ripa (Hayley) Leaving AMC? Not!

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Ripa stays and will juggle.

News reports of Mark Consuelos (Mateo) and real-life wife, Kelly Ripa (Hayley) of AllMy ChildrenKelly Ripa, one half of the ever-growing-in-popularity-and-ratings, "Live with Regis & Kelly," and one half of the popular All My Children couple, Hayley and Mateo, announcing Monday, July 27th that she will not be renewing her contract with All My Children when it expires in December 2002 are not correct. 

Rumors have been circulating for a number of weeks as to Ripa's plans in regard to AMC.  As always, ABC does not comment on rumors, or contract status, but Ripa set the record straight on "Live," on Wednesday, July 30.

It is not that Ripa wants to leave the show, it is that she is requesting more flexibility in the days she is expected to work. It's easy to see how being the mother of two young children and holding down two steady television shows could take its toll. But the ever perky and upbeat Ripa juggles all with aplomb. The question remains as to whether ABC Daytime will honor her request, which could definitely cause production scheduling problems for the soap.

Kelly Ripa and Tom Cavanaugh (Ed)In addition to her two daytime gigs, Ripa guest starred this past season on the NBC primetime series "Ed" as a love interest for series star, Tom Cavanaugh.  Their romance lasted only one episode, but Ripa's exit was left open. Would she consider a return to "Ed" on a more permanent basis? Time will tell.  It is possible, as her character was a sheer devilish delight and "Ed" is produced out of New York, making managing all three shows a possibility.

If it happened for Ripa, it wouldn't be the first time a former soap actress recurred on "Ed."  Rena Sofer (ex Lois, GH) played the sexy attorney that won Ed's heart earlier last season.  (Sofer joins the cast of NBC's "Just Shoot Me" this fall.)

Ironically, Ripa's real-life husband, Mark Consuelos (Mateo), recently took a vacation from All My Children to star in a feature film being produced in Australia.  The role of Mateo was temporarily recast with Kurt Caceres.  When asked if Consuelos was planning to return once filming wrapped, ABC had no comment. 

Ripa is also the new spokesperson for Pantene shampoo and Aquafina Essentials water.