Hollywood Boulevard was quiet on the Monday morning after the Oscars. The parties were over, the limos were gone, and the only people in the street were crew members taking down displays and picking up trash.
But 3,000 fans were lined up outside the lobby of the Dolby Theatre, where the "Live" staff had spent all night turning the Oscar stage into the set for the annual "Live With Kelly and Michael After Oscar Show."
"We take over the theater at midnight," joked Michael Gelman, the show's executive director. "They [the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences] kind of hand over the keys."
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"Live With Kelly and Michael" has seen its ratings soar this season as daytime TV viewers have become increasingly enchanted with the petite Kelly Ripa and the bulky former football star, Michael Strahan.
The reinvigorated show, which draws nearly 4 million viewers an episode, has been delivering its largest audience in seven years, growing 14% over last season and gaining ground on the top-rated syndicated talk show, "Dr. Phil," which attracts an average of 4.22 million viewers an episode.
Gelman said the attendees for the show were from all over California, including Santa Barbara, Fresno and other cities. As early as 11:45 p.m. Sunday, fans arrived at the nearby Hollywood Bowl to wait for buses to take them to the Dolby.
Joey Jennings, who has attended the "Live" Oscars post-show all three years, was one of the first people in line.
The South Carolina native is not new to live shows — in the last few weeks, he has been a seat filler at the Grammys and the NAACP Image Awards. Later in the day, he said, he was planning to attend a taping of a new game show.
"Going to 'Live With Kelly and Michael After Oscar Show' is tradition for me," he said. "I love coming to live shows because you see stuff you wouldn't normally see on TV."
Making that happen was a team of behind-the-scenes workers hustling to prepare to go live at 6:00 a.m. with the live broadcast.
Inside the production truck — one also used for the Oscars — director Brian Chapman kept busy prepping his team of eight.
"OK, everybody, 10 minutes to go," said Chelly Campbell, the show's associate director, gesturing to the screens in the room.
Meanwhile, Cirque du Soleil members, who wrapped up their dress rehearsal only 30 minutes earlier, made their way on stage to perform.
Right on time, the high-flying Cirque performers began a short performance featuring acrobats getting twirled by other acrobats while waving around lights.
Ripa and Strahan — who said they'd stayed up partying all night and indulging in In-N-Out burgers — cracked jokes, exchanged witty banter, and engaged with the crowd, which erupted into cheers of "We love you, Kelly!" and "We love you, Michael!" during commercial breaks.
The "Live" special, now in its third year, featured clips of Strahan and Ripa from Oscar night — drinking Champagne with celebrities and interviewing them before the show — and Ripa backstage, interviewing the winners and presenters right after they exited the stage.