Television host Kelly Ripa has three children, including boys Michael (14) and Joaquin (8).
And next week, she likely will get more attention from them.
Starting Monday, Ripa's show "Live! With Kelly" will feature an all-sports guest co-host lineup. It's Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush (Monday), NASCAR driver Carl Edwards (Tuesday), NFL broadcaster Boomer Esiason (Wednesday), ESPN analyst Jesse Palmer (Thursday) and Olympic skating champion Apolo Anton Ohno (Friday).
"This is the only time my sons actually acknowledge that I have some sort of a job," said Ripa, who has been hosting solo since November, when Regis Philbin retired after 50 years in show business. "They know they aren't allowed to abuse the privileges but I already know they will say, 'Mom, would you mind asking Reggie Bush to sign 12 of these footballs?' They finally realize that I have a talk show."
Since Philbin retired, there have been a rotation of co-hosts filling in for the top-rated morning "Live" while the show looks for a full-time replacement. Jerry Seinfeld, Neil Patrick Harris and Michael Buble have been among the guest hosts, and next week it'll be people from the sports world.
"What is so great about athletes is that their persona is so exaggerated based on what they do, but they have such a natural built-in personality of normal people," Ripa said. "They have families, wake up at night to take care of the babies and other things. They are real people. That's why they are so beloved."
Ripa isn't a huge sports fan -- "even though ESPN is on all my TVs at my house" -- but understands her audience.
"Regis carried so much of that sports knowledge for me. I'm really only interested in teams based on their uniforms with the most vivid colors. I care about who has the prettier costume!" Ripa joked. "I didn't play sports in school. I wish I had. After watching my own kids in their athletic endeavors, I can tell it's a confidence builder."
Ripa, husband Mark Consuelos and their SoHo-based production company, Milojo Productions, are filming a documentary about coaching. One of their previous efforts, the feature documentary "The Streak" for ESPN, told the story of a Florida high school wrestling team with an extraordinary 34-year winning streak. It was nominated for a Sports Emmy in the category of Outstanding Sports Documentary.
"I think sports documentaries are the most compelling because they talk about humans doing something super human. We're still shooting and we haven't set a finished date," Ripa said. "I just love how coaches have the ability to inspire kids in a unique way."
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