Meredith Vieira Jokes She 'Did My Time' on The View : 'That Sounds Like a Prison Term'

·5 min read
'25 Words or Less' Host Meredith Vieira Says the Show Will Honor Super Fans With a Special Gift!
'25 Words or Less' Host Meredith Vieira Says the Show Will Honor Super Fans With a Special Gift!

Getty Images Meredith Vieira

Meredith Vieira has fond memories of her time on The View — but that doesn't mean she's hoping to rejoin the panel.

During a recent interview with E's Daily Pop, the former moderator, 68, spoke about her time on the daytime talk show and how much had changed over the years. Vieira served as the show's first moderator from its creation in 1997 until her departure in 2006.

When asked if she could see herself returning to the panel and sitting between current co-host Whoopi Goldberg and former co-host Meghan McCain (who often butted heads on the show), Vieira told the outlet, "You know, there's a time for everything, I like to say, and I kinda did my time."

"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."

Continuing, Vieira explained, "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."

the view season 1
the view season 1

Steve Fenn/ABC Season 1 of The View

Part of creating the show included finding their new audience, which Vieira said proved to be a daunting task.

"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," she 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 gonna go see."

"If we had not had [creator] Barbara Walters, I'm sure that show would've been cancelled," she added. "But because of Barbara, ABC kept it on the air."

RELATED: Meredith Vieira, Star Jones and Elisabeth Hasselbeck Returning to The View for Season 25 Celebration

At another point in her interview with Daily Pop, Vieira opened up about her decision to sign onto The View despite initially believing it would not be successful.

"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," she explained to the outlet. "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.'"

"I wasn't somebody who watched daytime because I was working, but I figured, 'Okay, well, maybe it'll jog something of interest,'" she recalled. "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!"

the view - Barbara Walters
the view - Barbara Walters

Ida Mae Astute/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Barbara Walters in 2014 with her fellow co-hosts of The View

RELATED: Meredith Vieira Says Former Boss Barbara Walters Was 'Very Kind and Generous' and 'Tough as Nails'

In addition to Vieira and Walters, the original cast of The View included panelists Star Jones, Debbie Matenopoulous and Joy Behar.

Speaking about Walters, 92, on Daily Pop, Vieira called her former colleague "a force to be reckoned with."

"She was then, and remains, an icon and she's the kind of person that she doesn't phone it in ever," she added. "Everything that she has done in her career, she's earned, and she expects the same from you. So you have to be on your toes with Barbara."

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This isn't the first time that Vieira has spoken candidly about her time on The View and working with Walters. In September, Vieira told PEOPLE of landing the first-ever moderator job on the show: "The privilege alone [was] tremendous."

"To have the opportunity to work with her was somewhat of a dream come true. I think that she hesitated with me in terms of hiring me because she didn't know I was funny. But Barbara took a chance on me. It wasn't a job that I was looking for and particularly interested in until I auditioned," she said. "And then I realized, 'I don't know why I'd really enjoy this, but I do.'"

RELATED VIDEO: Meghan McCain Announces Her Exit from 'The View' After Nearly 4 Years

She also shared her experience working with Walters, noting how her former boss is "a very complicated person."

"On one hand, she's very kind and generous, and on the other, a real taskmaster and tough as nails, which is why she succeeded in this business at a time when there were so few women. She had not only brains, but real tenacity," Vieira told PEOPLE.

RELATED: Joy Behar Recalls the Moment an 'Honest Mistake' Led to Barbara Walters 'Firing' Her From The View

Vieira recently appeared on Hulu's Behind The Table: A View Reunion, which premiered on June 20. In the special — which also starred Behar, Jones and Matenopoulous — the women recounted their time on the daytime talk show in its early years.

The View is currently in its 25th season, starring Behar, Goldberg, Sunny Hostin, and Sara Haines.

Behind the Table: A View Reunion is now streaming on Hulu. The View airs weekdays (11 a.m. ET) on ABC.