Meredith Vieira has passed the point of no return where The View is concerned. During a Television Critics Association panel for her new series, The Meredith Vieira Show, the Dateline NBC contributor said that, unlike returning co-host Rosie O'Donnell, she has no plans to go back to the View table in any regular capacity.
"You can't go home again," the veteran journalist, 60, told reporters at the TCA Press Tour on Monday, July 14, in Beverly Hills. Joking about her former tenure on The View, she said, "I knew after nine years that it was my time to leave. I have a pretty good sense of timing, and I always like to get out before something bad happens."
She escaped just under the wire. At the time of the show's launch in 1997, Vieira was one of the View's four original co-hosts, along with Star Jones, Debbie Matenopoulos, and Barbara Walters. She stayed until April 2006, when she left to replace Katie Couric on Today. Two months after her departure, Jones made a much talked-about and highly contentious exit, the first of what would be many controversies, including O'Donnell's epic on-air fight with Elisabeth Hasselbeck.
Vieira clearly has no desire to immerse herself in that drama on a daily basis, but she's open to returning as a guest. "I love those ladies," she said. "Certainly Whoopi [Goldberg] and Rosie and whoever else they get. I wish them the best."
O'Donnell's first stint on The View was announced just weeks after Vieira left for Today, so the two hosts never actually worked together. Vieira told Us Weekly, however, that she likes the comedian a lot. "I think she's great, and Whoopi is great. Two very dynamic people," she said at the NBC party at RivaBella restaurant on July 13.
Of the current drama surrounding Jenny McCarthy and Sherri Shepherd's exits, she added, "It's all about chemistry. There are so many people who are really good but for some reason the unit doesn't click."
Case in point? "We had guys there as guest hosts toward the end when I was there and it was just different," she said when asked whether a male voice should be added to the mix. "Never quite right."