Quotes from the news wire:
Working with your friends is a great privilege. It is a joy, and I have to say that it is a rare thing to work with a guy who is so authentic and fun and joyful and humble and generous and kind to everyone, what you see of Ryan Seacrest on the air is the person Ryan Seacrest is backstage, which is a unique thing.
From our point of view, it looked like he got poked in the eye, i was like, I get it, that hurts, and sometimes your eye -- it wont open. But we were like, OK, Joaquin, for heavens sakes, pull yourself together. ... And I was saying, See? Hes an actor. Because he was [covering his face]. It was very dramatic.
Looking back on the history of ‘Live’s' replacement of co-hosts they really do seem to take their time, however, Kelly Ripa's fury at her treatment by ABC during Strahan's departure has hardly been a secret. It's very possible that the network has been more concerned with their treatment of her than they've been with seating a co-host beside her. After all, if they lose her, then they have no show and it wouldn't matter who was chosen.
Supposedly ABC's investment in GMA may mean nixing ‘Live!’ in favor of another hour of their morning show, with Strahan holding down the fort, if there is any truth to that then Ripa may feel like she has nothing to lose in not showing up for her show. ABC has already proven that whatever their plan is, she and the rest of the ‘Live!’ crew are not a part of it.