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Meredith Vieira: Returning to ‘The View’ Would Be ‘Like a Prison Term’

Thank you, next! While reflecting on The View, Meredith Vieira revealed that she has no plans to reprise her role as a moderator.

“There’s a time for everything, I like to say, and I kinda did my time,” Vieira, 68, who appeared on The View from its debut in 1997 until 2006, told E! News‘ Daily Pop earlier this month, before joking, “That sounds like a prison term, actually.”

The Rhode Island native noted that the daytime talk show has evolved since she left. “It’s a different show and I think it’s fantastic,” she added. “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.”

Meredith Vieira Denies a Potential The View' Return Says the Idea Sounds Like a Prison Term

According to Vieira, one of the most difficult aspects of getting The View off the ground was finding their viewers. “We really didn’t know our audiences for that first year. They would bus them in wherever they could find them. I think they were dragging them off the street! Lots of people with oxygen tanks,” the former Today cohost explained. “We would go, ‘Where did they get them from?’ Or people who did not speak English who were obviously on a tour of New York, and they loaded them on a bus. I don’t know if they told them what they were going to go see.”

The broadcast journalist also admitted she didn’t initially expect The View to find any success.

“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, who has been married to Richard M. Cohen since 1986, detailed. “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 was the one who said, ‘You really should audition for this.’”

She continued: “I wasn’t somebody who watched daytime because I was working, but I figured, ‘OK, well, maybe it’ll jog something of interest.’ 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!”

Vieira isn’t the only former The View cohost looking for a change. Following her time on the show, Candace Cameron Bure admitted she wasn’t looking to return to the gig.

“The stress and the anxiety — I actually have a pit in my stomach right now,” Bure, 46, shared during an appearance on the “Behind the Table” podcast in October 2021. “There was only one type of stress that I’ve ever felt in my life, that came from that show. And I [have] PTSD, like, I can feel it. It was so difficult, and to manage that emotional stress was very, very hard.”

At the time, the Full House alum recalled the ups and downs that came with the job. “I don’t know that I regret anything, honestly,” the actress, who appeared as a cohost from 2015 to 2016, said. “I feel like there were so many wonderful takeaways from the show that as difficult as that job was, I’m very, very grateful for it. My opinion, it’s my opinion. And maybe sometimes I said things better or worse one day or another, but I don’t regret anything.”

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