Michael Strahan, Sara Haines will carry ‘GMA’ from morning to afternoon

Walk into a room containing Michael Strahan and Sara Haines and you’re going to get a jolt. This duo radiates energy. Now ABC needs to figure out a way to harness it.

Haines and Strahan will on Monday lead an ambitious bid by the Walt Disney-owned network to expand its flagship morning program, “Good Morning America,” to a new afternoon perch. “GMA Day,” slated to air at 1 p.m. weekdays, is seen as a way to add a third hour to the A.M. flagship, extending its presence on the network.

This new hour hinges on the heartwarming, however, not the headlines. “You probably need to be taken away from some of the more serious things out there, and I think this is really it,” says Strahan, who vows the program will be “very fun. It’s a show that is inspiring at times.”

The two hosts promise to deliver a series that will include some of the usual daytime-TV staples – celebrity interviews, cooking segments, health-and-wellness features, feel-good stories – but with a few twists. “We want to make sure when you tune in, you leave knowing something, that you are learning with us,” says Haines. “You can check out for an hour to be with us. You will leave a little better, but you will definitely leave happier.” ABC is keen on making sure viewers have a “takeaway” from many of the show’s segments.

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Michael Strahan on 'Good Morning America'
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Michael Strahan on 'Good Morning America'
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 06: Michael Strahan attends ABC's 'Good Morning America' at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on July 6, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Ginger Zee and Michael Strahan on 'Good Morning America,' on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 airing on the ABC Television Network. GMA18 (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) GINGER ZEE, MICHAEL STRAHAN
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 15: Good Morning America's Co-Host Michael Strahan attends Pitbull's performance on ABC's 'Good Morning America' at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on June 15, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Sagliocco/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 12: Michael Strahan is seen leaving 'Good Morning America' on June 12, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - The new Bachelorette, Becca Kufrin is a guest on 'Good Morning America,' on Tuesday, April 29, 2018 airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Paula Lobo/ABC via Getty Images) BECCA KUFRIN, MICHAEL STRAHAN
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Tom Brady of the New England Patriots is a guest on 'Good Morning America,' Monday, March 12, 2018, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) MICHAEL STRAHAN, TOM BRADY
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - 3/6/18 Chelsea Clinton, Luke Bryan (Judge, 'American Idol'), Ava Duvernay (Director of 'A Wrinkle in Time'), and Val Chmerkovskiy (Author, 'I'll Never Change My Name: An Immigrant's American Dream from Ukraine to the USA to Dancing with the Stars') are the guests on 'Good Morning America' (7-9 p.m., ET), Tuesday, March 6, 2018 airing on the ABC Television Network. GMA18 (Photo by Paula Lobo/ABC via Getty Images) MICHAEL STRAHAN, ROBIN ROBERTS, LARA SPENCER, LUKE BRYAN, GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Demi Lovato is a guest on 'Good Morning America,' Wednesday, January 24, 2018, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Paula Lobo/ABC via Getty Images) DEMI LOVATO, MICHAEL STRAHAN
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Robin Roberts, and Michael Strahan on 'Good Morning America,' Wednesday, January 17, 2018 on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) MICHAEL STRAHAN, ROBIN ROBERTS
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 11: MICHAEL STRAHAN on stage as Bleachers performs on ABC's 'Good Morning America' at Rumsey Playfield on August 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Rachel Lindsay got engaged to Bryan Abasolo on the finale of 'The Bachelorette.' The happy couple are guests on 'Good Morning America,' Tuesday, August 8, 2017, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images) BRYAN ABASOLO, RACHEL LINDSAY, MICHAEL STRAHAN
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Michael Strahan interviews Jon Bon Jovi before he addresses the 2017 graduating class of Fairleigh Dickinson University. The interview airs on 'Good Morning America,' Wednesday, May 16 2017 on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) MICHAEL STRAHAN
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 15: Television personality Michael Strahan hosts a 'Good Morning America' taping at the ABC Times Square Studios on MAY 15, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/GC Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - 3/30/17 Michael Strahan interviews Jake Gyllenhaal on 'Good Morning America,' Monday, March 27, 2017, airing on the ABC Television Network. GM17 (Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images) JAKE GYLLENHAAL, MICHAEL STRAHAN
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Local animal shelter dogs visit 'Good Morning America,' Wednesday, March 23, 2017, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Paula Lobo/ABC via Getty Images) GINGER ZEE, AMY ROBACH, SARA HAINES, ROBIN ROBEDRTS, MICHAEL STRAHAN
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Michael Strahan interviews Scarlett Johansson on 'Good Morning America,' Tuesday, March 27, 2017, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) MICHAEL STRAHAN, SCARLETT JOHANSSON
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Michael Strahan interviews Jake Gyllenhaal on 'Good Morning America,' Monday, March 27th, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images) JAKE GYLLENHAAL, MICHAEL STRAHAN
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Michael Pe� is a guest on 'Good Morning America,' Wednesday, March 23, 2017, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Paula Lobo/ABC via Getty Images) MICHAEL STRAHAN, ROBIN ROBERTS, MICHAEL PE�, AMY ROBACH, SARA HAINES
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20: Actors Joe Manganiello (L) and Demi Lovato,Michael Strahan tape an interview at 'Good Morning America' at the ABC Times Square Studios on March 20, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Coverage of 'Good Morning America,' Monday March 13, 2017, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) MICHAEL STRAHAN, ROBIN ROBERTS, GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Coverage of 'Good Morning America,' Monday March 13, 2017, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) MICHAEL STRAHAN, ROBIN ROBERTS
GOOD MORNING AMERICA Coverage of 'Good Morning America,' Wednesday, February 22, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) MICHAEL STRAHAN, ROBIN ROBERTS, GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, AMY ROBACH
GOOD MORNING AMERICA Coverage of 'Good Morning America,' Tuesday, February 21, airing on the ABC Television Network. {Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) MICHAEL STRAHAN
GOOD MORNING AMERICA Christina El Moussa is a guest on 'Good Morning America,' Tuesday, February 21, airing on the ABC Television Network. {Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) MICHAEL STRAHAN, CHRISTINA EL MOUSSA
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Luke Evans is a guest on 'Good Morning America,' Tuesday, February 14, 2017 on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) MICHAEL STRAHAN, ROBIN ROBERTS, LUKE EVANS, GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, LARA SPENCER
GOOD MORNING AMERICA Coverage of 'Good Morning America,' Tuesday, February 21, airing on the ABC Television Network. {Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) MICHAEL STRAHAN, ROBIN ROBERTS, GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, LARA SPENCER
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Behind the light banter is serious business. “GMA” generated approximately $359.1 million in ad dollars for ABC last year, according to Kantar, a tracker of ad spending. That figure is significantly lower than what NBC gets from the first two hours of rival “Today,” which have in the past nabbed more than $500 million in a year. One way to wring more revenue out of “GMA” is to broaden its presence, giving advertisers more of the property to sponsor.

The network is banking on the hosts’ chemistry to spark a reaction with daytime viewers. During an interview at the “Good Morning America” studios in New York’s Times Square, Haines and Strahan tease one another, describe trying to beat each other at basketball, and vow to make audiences want to find the show even if they have to watch later at night.

“We love to laugh. We love absurdity,” says Haines. She hopes audiences will treat the program like a big must-see. “When you sit home and watch a viral video, and you go ‘Oh, my God, I can’t believe they said that!’  You can watch that any time, anywhere, on any device.”

The two say they have known each other for years and can’t fake their rapport. “If we are on the show ‘acting’ like we like each other, ‘acting’ like we are interested in something, then that comes across as phony,” says Strahan. “People are smart enough now, as many choices as they have, they don’t have to see something they don’t feel is authentic.”

A third hour of “GMA” is an easier prospect to pitch to Madison Avenue than a brand-new series. “As ‘GMA’ is such a proven and successful franchise in its own right, having a daytime extension show should fit seamlessly into their schedule,” says Dave Sederbaum, senior vice president of video activation at media-buying agency Carat. “For many clients who already support both ‘GMA’ and daytime in general, adding ‘GMA Day’ would not be a ‘hard-sell,’” he adds.

21 PHOTOS
Michael Strahan & Kelly Ripa
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Michael Strahan & Kelly Ripa
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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Media buyers are counting on viewers’ familiarity with the morning program, as they suggest ABC has not offered a wealth of detail about the content of the new show. Strahan and Haines have been in rehearsals this week and producers are narrowing down which segments, topics and ideas seem to work best.

“I probably would be surprised if it bombed,” says Lisa Herdman, senior vice president and director of national video and branded entertainment for ad agency RPA. “They are taking a page from Kathie Lee and Hoda, Kelly and Ryan and other daytime shows. It’s going to be very much in that vein.”

One advertiser has already struck a deal to be incorporated into the program.  Hershey’s will be woven into the September 13 broadcast when Strahan and Haines share the story of Bob Williams, an Iowa man who has found joy by passing out Hershey’s bars to people over two decades.  Hershey’s employees are expected to take to the “GMA” studio and the streets around it and pass out the confectioner’s famous milk-chocolate bars. That date also happens to be founder Milton Hershey’s birthday.

Both hosts are betting on the new show as well. Haines left a stint on “The View” to take part, and notes she has always wanted to co-host a show in which she plays off a partner. And Strahan, who typically doesn’t work at “GMA” Mondays during football season because he flies to Los Angeles each weekend to work for Fox Sports, will suit up for the new hour that day. He will maintain his other “GMA” duties and launches the new show even as he also takrd up additional duties at Fox for “Thursday Night Football.”

ABC experimented with an afternoon presence for “Good Morning America” in the not-too-distant past. Josh Elliott and Lara Spencer co-anchored a short run of “Good Afternoon America” between July and September of 2012 in a separate bid to test expansion of the franchise.

Viewers are likely to try to compare the new “GMA Day” to either the flagship or a program like ABC’s syndicated “Live,” where Strahan rose to greater fame. But this new hour boasts a critical difference, Strahan says: “This is something that is starting from scratch.”

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