Entertainment

Returning to ‘The View’ is ‘a prison sentence’

This former talk show host speaks out.

Meredith Vieira says it’s unlikely she’ll ever return to The View as a co-host and claims the show has “evolved” since she left in 2006.

The 68-year-old, who was the original host of the ABC panel program, admitted as much in an interview with E’s Daily Pop on Wednesday.

“There’s a time for everything, I like to say, and I kind of took my time,” Vieira said, before adding, “That actually sounds like a prison sentence.”

Despite the quip, the media veteran insisted she’s enjoyed her years on the talk show and said she thinks the program is top-notch in its current iteration.

“I worked for nine years and loved it,” she explained. “The show has evolved and is a different show and I think it’s fantastic.”

"The view" The cast is seen during the show's first season in 1997.  From left: Star Jones, Joy Behar, Meredith Vieira, Debbie Matenopoulos and Barbara Walters.
The cast of The View can be seen in the show’s first season in 1997. From left: Star Jones, Joy Behar, Vieira, Debbie Matenopoulos and Barbara Walters.

Vieira was a young mother working for ABC News when her husband suggested that she audition for the first season of The View in 1997.

The series was conceived by television legend Barbara Walters, now 92, who envisioned a panel show featuring women of different ages and backgrounds coming together to discuss the hot topics of the day.

“I had young children and was always torn between being at home and taking them out,” recalls the Emmy-winner. “So when this opportunity arose, my man [Richard Cohen] was the one who said, ‘You really should audition for this.'”

Vieira said she wasn’t initially interested in doing a daytime talk show, but changed her mind once she hooked up with Walters and her original co-stars Star Jones, Debbie Matenopoulos and Joy Behar.

Vieria (far left) is pictured reuniting with her original "The view" cohosts (from left) Star Jones, Joy Behar, Debbie Matenopoulos and Barbara Walters.
Vieira (far left) is pictured reuniting with her original The View co-hosts (from left) Star Jones, Joy Behar, Debbie Matenopoulos and Barbara Walters in 2014.
Disney General Entertainment Con

“For me, being on the ground floor of something was so great because… you have a connection with people when you’re creating as a group,” she explained.

The show was not an instant hit, as Vieira said producers sometimes struggled to get a live audience into the studio for recordings.

“They would take her anywhere they could find her,” she revealed. “I think they dragged her off the street!”

Viera told E! that she credits Walters with keeping the program going throughout its first season.

"The view" Cast is pictured in a promotional photo from 1999.  From left: Lisa Ling, Meredith Vieria, Joy Behar, Star Jones and Barbara Walters.
The cast of The View is pictured in a promotional photo from 1999. From left: Lisa Ling, Vieira, Behar, Jones and Walters.
The cast of "The view" are pictured in 2004.  From left: Meredith Vieira, Star Jones, Barbara Walters, Joy Behar and Elisabeth Hasselbeck.
The cast of The View is pictured in 2004. From left: Vieira, Jones, Walters, Behar and Elisabeth Hasselbeck.
WireImage

“If we hadn’t had Barbara Walters, I’m sure this show would have been cancelled,” she said. “But because of Barbara, ABC kept it on the air.”

“The View” eventually became a pop culture phenomenon. Vieira left the show in 2006 and co-hosted “Today” before appearing on her own talk show of the same name.

The current cast of "The view" are pictured from left: Sunny Hostin, Sara Haines, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar and Ana Navarro.
The current cast of The View is pictured from left: Sunny Hostin, Sara Haines, Whoopi Goldberg, Behar and Ana Navarro.
ABC via Getty Images

“The View” has had a revolving door of co-hosts in the years since Vieira’s departure, including Meghan McCain, Abby Huntsman, Jedediah Bila, Jenny McCarthy, Candace Cameron Bure and Rosie O’Donnell among the cast who have come and gone.

https://nypost.com/2022/06/30/meredith-vieira-returning-to-the-view-is-a-prison-term/ Returning to ‘The View’ is ‘a prison sentence’

Emma Bowman

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