EXCLUSIVE: Anderson Cooper, Neil Patrick Harris in the running to replace Michael Strahan on 'Live!'

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These are the Two Frontrunners to Replace Michael Strahan on 'LIVE'

With the news that Michael Strahan is leaving Live! With Kelly and Michael after four years, it's naturally time to start thinking about his possible replacements.

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper -- a close friend of host Kelly Ripa's -- is one frontrunner, a source close to production tells ET.

See photos of Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan:

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Michael Strahan & Kelly Ripa
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EXCLUSIVE: Anderson Cooper, Neil Patrick Harris in the running to replace Michael Strahan on 'Live!'
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 22: TV personalities Michael Strahan (L) and Kelly Ripa attend the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 12: Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan attend the ceremony honoring Kelly Ripa with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on October 12, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 30: Michael Strahan as Luke Skywalker and Kelly Ripa as Princess Leia Organa attend the Hallowe'en photocall for Live! with Kelly and Michael on October 30, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 30: Michael Strahan as Left Shark and Kelly Ripa as Katy Perry on the Super Bowl Halftime Show attend a photocall outside the Live! with Kelly and Michael Studios on October 30, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 12: Michael Strahan, Kelly Ripa and Michael Gelman attend the ceremony honoring Kelly Ripa with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on October 12, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 22: (EXCLUSIVE ACCESS, SPECIAL RATES APPLY) Michael Strahan and Kelly Ripa attend the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 22, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/VF15/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 31: Hosts Michael Strahan and Kelly Ripa pose for a photo at the 'Live With Kelly & Michael' Halloween Show at Live with Kelly And Michael Studio on October 31, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: TV personalities Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ethan Miller/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 19: Kelly Ripa (L) and Michael Strahan attend the 2013 CNN Heroes at the American Museum of Natural History on November 19, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 19: (L-R) Event host Anderson Cooper, and TV personalities Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan attend the 2013 CNN Heroes: An All Star Tribute at The American Museum of Natural History on November 19, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: (L-R) TV personality Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan attend the Broadcasting And Cable 23rd Annual Hall Of Fame Awards dinner at The Waldorf Astoria on October 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage)
LIVE WITH KELLY AND MICHAEL -9/5/13 - Arsenio Hall and Jennifer Hudson are guests on 'LIVE with Kelly and Michael,' distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. (Photo by David Steele/Disney-ABC via Getty Images) KELLY RIPA, MICHAEL STRAHAN
LIVE WITH KELLY AND MICHAEL - 8/1/13 - Bryan Cranston and Poppy Montgomery are guests on the syndicated talk show, 'LIVE with Kelly and Michael,' distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. (Photo by Rob Tannenbaum/ABC via Getty Images) KELLY RIPA, MICHAEL STRAHAN
LIVE WITH KELLY AND MICHAEL -7/12/13 - Kevin James is a guest on 'LIVE with Kelly and Michael,' distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. (Photo by Dave Steele/Disney-ABC via Getty Images) KELLY RIPA, MICHAEL STRAHAN
LIVE WITH KELLY AND MICHAEL -7/11/13 - Salma Hayek is a guest on 'LIVE with Kelly and Michael,' distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. (Photo by Dave Steele/Disney-ABC via Getty Images) KELLY RIPA, MICHAEL STRAHAN,
LIVE WITH KELLY AND MICHAEL -7/9/13 - 'LIVE with Kelly and Michael,' distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. (Photo by Dave Steele/Disney-ABC via Getty Images) KELLY RIPA, MICHAEL STRAHAN
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 05: TV personalities Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan attend the 2013 Newhouse Mirror Awards Luncheon at Cipriani 42nd Street on June 5, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage)
LIVE WITH KELLY AND MICHAEL -5/1/13 - 'LIVE with Kelly and Michael,' distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. (Photo by Lorenzo Bevilaqua/Disney-ABC via Getty Images) KELLY RIPA, MICHAEL STRAHAN
LIVE WITH KELLY AND MICHAEL -2/26/13 - Using chopsticks to arrange their smiles, Kelly and Michael try out the latest stress-relieving smile therapy, on 'LIVE with Kelly and Michael,' distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. (Photo by Lorenzo Bevilaqua/Disney-ABC via Getty Images) KELLY RIPA, MICHAEL STRAHAN
LIVE WITH KELLY AND MICHAEL -1/25/12 - LIVE with Kelly and Michael,' distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. (Photo by Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) KELLY RIPA, MICHAEL STRAHAN
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 09: 'Live With Kelly And Michael' hosts Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan attend the Kids' Night on Broadway 2013 press conference at August Wilson Theatre on January 9, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/FilmMagic)
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"It's likely Kelly will bring up Anderson's name as a replacement," the source says.

WATCH: Michael Strahan Shows Plenty of PDA With Bikini-Clad Girlfriend Kayla Quick During Sexy Vacay

And Cooper is definitely interested, another source tells ET, but may need CNN's permission to do the show.

Actor Neil Patrick Harris, who's already proven his hosting skills, is reportedly another strong candidate.

"Producers loved Neil Patrick Harris when they were looking before," the production source tells ET. "He was a frontrunner, and he has less going on now than he did three years ago during the search that ended with Michael getting the gig."

As for why Strahan left the show, sources tell ET that the decision was not exactly surprising, though it happened a lot sooner than expected. "He just has so much other stuff going on ... he was losing interest," one source says, citing his multiple gigs at Good Morning America and Fox Sports.

RELATED: Watch Michael Strahan dish on how he was offered the "Live!" hosting gig

Michael Strahan on Becoming a "Kelly and Michael" Host

"Live! was never going to be a forever job for him," another source adds.

Good Morning America also apparently offered Strahan more opportunities. The 44-year-old former NFL pro will start working full-time for GMA in September and will become a co-anchor, but is not replacing anyone, a source tells ET -- rather, he'll continue handling more of the types of stories he was already doing in his former correspondent role.

"They provide something different for him and they give Michael a platform that he couldn't do at Live! -- tell stories, connect with people," one source says. "GMA saw an opening and they took it. He appeals to everyone."

Sources tell ET that there was also tension between Strahan and 45-year-old Ripa, as well as between Strahan and long-time Live! executive producer Michael Gelman.

"Michael and Kelly have not been getting along recently," one source tells ET. "They got along great in the beginning -- but not so much lately."

WATCH: Regis Philbin -- I Haven't Spoken to Kelly Ripa Since I Left the Show

However, Strahan had nothing but positive things to say about his time at Live! in his statement on Tuesday, and thanked Ripa personally.

"My time with Live! With Kelly and Michael has been transformative, and my departure will be bittersweet," he said. "Kelly has been an unbelievable partner, and I am so thankful to her and the entire team. I am extremely grateful for the amazing support I've received from all of the fans."

"I look forward to continuing to work with the incredible team at GMA," he added. "It is an exciting opportunity to be able to bring unique stories and voices to the audience."

Watch the video below for more on Strahan's big GMA move.

Michael Strahan Exiting 'LIVE! with Kelly and Michael' to Join ABC's 'Good Morning America'

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