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Lea Michele and David Muir help kick off new season of Kelly Ripa's talk show

Find out about Lea's new book.
Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez

Kelly Ripa never seems to lose her enthusiasm for her talk show. Now, at 43, she began the 27th season of "Live with Kelly and Michael" talk show on Sept. 1. Special guests featured during her kick-off week included Lea Michele and David Muir.

Lea talked about her final season on "Glee," which dramatically changed her life. "It’s been such an honor being a part of something that has made such a difference and has been so important," added the actress.

After the death of her boyfriend, Lea went through a difficult period. She emphasized the importance of friends and family to provide support. But Lea noted that it is hard for her to ask for help, and she makes a point of being a good friend as well.

Because she frequently is asked for her secrets to fitness, diet and fashion, Lea has authored a book. Entitled "Brunette Ambition," it combines tips on everything from a healthy diet to beauty. It also serves as a memoir. Lea dreamed of being an actress and singer for years, and feels that actually meeting and talking to Barbra Streisand at the Grammy Awards ranks as a high point in her life.

Dominating the show on Sept. 2, David Muir received enthusiastic hugs from both Kelly and co-host Michael Strahan. He modestly accepted their congratulations for his new role in the anchor chair at "ABC World News Tonight." He has a tough act to follow, because Diane Sawyer has reigned in the position since 2009.

David recalled working as an intern when he was only a teenager. He gradually worked his way up the ladder of network news success, naming Peter Jennings as one of his role models. David admitted that his heart was beating so loudly that he couldn't hear his own words when he first interacted with Peter.

Kelly talked about the superstars of the network news world. She feels that they all share similar qualities, such as their ability to convey even complex information clearly and calmly. Kelly complimented David on his voice, noting that it makes her focus on his words even when she's in the kitchen fixing dinner.

And ABC's decision to choose David for this position reflects their awareness that he appeals to viewers in Kelly's age range. As the youngest national evening news anchor in 50 years, he is uniquely positioned to use social media to attract a larger audience, reported the New York Times on Sept. 1.

Reflecting on why this attractive reporter won the role, several analysts pointed to his age. "They weren't going to radically change their format, but one choice they had was to get radically younger," said Ken Doctor, a news analyst at Harvard's Nieman Journalism Lab. But he is doubtful that the ploy will work.

However, David is deft at social media. He even uses Twitter when commercials air. "I hope people know that when I’m sitting there, it’s not some guy on a desk on a platform with sort of this voice-of-God approach," added the new "World News" anchor.

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