Don't expect to see this former host of The View return to the panel ever again. In a new interview with E!'s Daily Pop, Meredith Vieira shared that she would never join the panel of The View again because she already "did [her] time"—she also joked that describing it that way makes the job sounds like a prison sentence.
Vieira was one of the original hosts of the show when it premiered in 1997, and while she stayed on the talk show for nine years, she knows that the current version of the daytime staple isn't for her. Read on to see why Vieira wouldn't rejoin The View and for some of her other thoughts on the long-running series.
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Vieira was one of the original co-hosts.
Vieira was one of The View's first five co-hosts, along with Joy Behar, Star Jones, Debbie Matenopoulos, and series creator Barbara Walters. Vieira joined the show when it premiered in 1997 and remained on as moderator until 2006. The original hosts, minus Walters, recently reunited for a Hulu special in which they looked back on the early days of the show and the audition process that brought them together.
She thinks the show has changed.
In the interview with Daily Pop, Vieira was asked about how the show started out much calmer than it is now and whether she could see her self sitting between host Whoopi Goldberg and former host Meghan McCain, who got into many heated arguments on the show.
"You know, there's a time for everything, I like to say, and I kinda did my time," Vieira responded. "That sounds like a prison term, actually," she joked. "I did nine years and I loved it. The show has evolved, and it's a different show and I think it's fantastic."
Vieira liked being there to build The View from the beginning.
Vieira pointed out in the interview that she was proud of being in the first group of hosts. "For me, it was so great to be on the ground floor of something, because you have a bond with people when you're creating something as a group," she said.
The journalist added that, at the beginning, it seemed that the studio audience was made up of tourists and random people found on the street who didn't know what they were attending. The View didn't have the reputation and name recognition it does now.
"If we had not had Barbara Walters, I'm sure that show would have been cancelled. Because of Barbara, ABC kept it on the air," she said.
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She never thought it would be a success.
Vieira didn't have much confidence that The View would be a hit, but that didn't stop her from wanting the job.
"I was a reporter at that time who really didn't want to report—as my husband pointed out to me several times—because I didn't want to travel," Vieira told Daily Pop. "We had little kids, and I was always torn between being home with them and being on the road. So when this opportunity came up, my husband Richard [Cohen] was the one who said, 'You really should audition for this.' I wasn't somebody who watched daytime, because I was working, but I figured, 'Okay, well, maybe it'll jog something of interest.'"
Vieira was surprised to find that she really enjoyed it. "What floored me was when I got done with the actual interview, I realized I really loved it … Then I was convinced I wouldn't get it, because why would they hire me? But they did and it worked out great," she said.
She did rejoin the show very briefly.
While Vieira has no intention of returning to The View full-time, she did return as a guest host in February. In honor of the show's 25th anniversary, former hosts have been making appearances throughout the current season.
"You were basically a respected journalist when we found you," Behar told Vieira. She responded, "I know. What happened?" A montage showed some of Vieira's silly moments from the series, including dancing on stage and wearing a hot dog costume. "Well, look at what I did," she said of moving from reporting to daytime TV. "It was like I had been in a cage and was released."