Anderson Cooper, left, will be joined by his pal Andy Cohen for CNN's 2017 New Year's coverage, following the ouster of Kathy Griffin. (Courtesy photo)

Andy Cohen replacing Kathy Griffin on CNN’s New Year’s Eve

After Kathy Griffin was unceremoniously dropped from the gig, Anderson Cooper’s New Year’s Eve companion will be his longtime pal, Andy Cohen, CNN announced Wednesday.

The CNN anchor will be joined by Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live” host for the 2017 installment of the cable network’s “New Year’s Eve Live With Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen.”

Cohen replaces Griffin, who was terminated in May after participating in a bloody photo shoot in which she held a fake severed head in the likeness of President Donald Trump. She apologized, but the damage was done.

Cooper, who hosted the annual show for a decade alongside Griffin, distanced himself from the comic during the fallout. On Wednesday, he had praised his co-host.

“Andy is the life of the party wherever he goes, and what bigger party is there than New Year’s Eve? It is going to be a blast!” Cooper said.

Griffin, often outspoken on Twitter, hasn’t commented. Her standup tour takes her to New Zealand and Australia next week.

KELLY’S COMEBACK

Observers, including Tim Teeman of The Daily Beast, have noticed that Megyn Kelly seems to have become “more herself” in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal.

While NBC insiders acknowledged they weren’t pleased that the new 9 a.m. “Today” host was tanking, having a negative effect on ratings of the 10 a.m. partnering of Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford, the former Fox personality has found an authentic “Weinstein voice” — fierce and genuine — when reporting the story, even stirring the audience to booing, cheering and unpredictable applause.

Interestingly, Kelly has not mentioned her own alleged sexual harassment at the hands of Fox News chief Roger Ailes.

QUICK TAKES

Producers of TV’s “The Voice” announced that 20-year-old singer Megan Rose from San Ramon made it through the show’s first round of blind auditions, earning a spot on Miley Cyrus’ team with her rendition of Bobby Gentry’s 1967 hit “Ode to Billie Joe.” … 34 Trinity, a local arts and culture collective, is opening a new bookstore and arts space in the Financial District’s Trinity Alley (between Montgomery, Bush, Kearny and Sutter streets) and is celebrating with a party at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13 featuring special guest San Francisco Poet Laureate Emeritus Alejandro Murguía and soul music from DJ Ephemera. … The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art invites Instagram followers to participate in a city-wide scavenger hunt (starting at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14) to celebrate its current Walker Evans exhibit; the prize package is valued at $600.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Actor Josh Hutcherson is 25. … Runner Marion Jones is 42. … Actor Hugh Jackman is 49. … Trumpeter Chris Botti is 55. …

— Staff, wire report

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