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

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

This former talk show host is speaking out.

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

The 68-year-old — who was the original moderator of the ABC panel program — made the admission in an interview with E’s “Daily Pop” on Wednesday.

“There’s a time for everything, I like to say, and I kinda did my time,” Vieira stated, before adding: “That sounds like a prison term, actually.”

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

“I did nine years and I loved it,” she declared. “The show has evolved and it’s a different show and I think it’s fantastic.”

Returning to ‘The View’ is ‘a prison term’“The View” cast is seen during the first season of the show back in 1997. From left: Star Jones, Joy Behar, Vieira, Debbie Matenopoulos and Barbara Walters.

Vieira was a young mom working for ABC News when her husband suggested she audition for the first season of “The View” back in 1997.

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

“I had little kids and I was always torn between being home with them and being on the road,” the Emmy winner recalled. “So when this opportunity came up, my husband [Richard Cohen] was the one who said, ‘You really should audition for this.’”

Vieira said she was initially uninterested in doing a daytime talk show, but changed her mind when she met with Walters and her original co-stars, Star Jones, Debbie Matenopoulos and Joy Behar.

Vieria (far left) is pictured reuniting with her original 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 Crush The Castle 2 Hacked Game | PTD Hacked Games

“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 stated.

The show wasn’t an instant hit, with Vieira saying producers sometimes struggled to get a live audience into the studio for tapings.

“They would bus them in wherever they could find them,” she revealed. “I think they were dragging them off the street!”

Vieira also told E! that she credits Walters for keeping the program going during its first season.

Returning to ‘The View’ is ‘a prison term’“The View” cast is pictured in a promotional photo from 1999. From left: Lisa Ling, Vieira, Behar, Jones and Walters.

The cast of The cast of “The View” is pictured in 2004. From left: Vieira, Jones, Walters, Behar and Elisabeth Hasselbeck.WireImage

“If we had not had Barbara Walters, I’m sure that show would’ve been canceled,” she stated. “But because of Barbara, ABC kept it on the air.”

“The View” eventually went on to become a pop culture phenomenon. Vieira left the show in 2006, going on to co-host “Today,” before appearing on her own eponymous talk show.

The current cast of The current cast of “The View” are 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, with Meghan McCain, Abby Huntsman, Jedediah Bila, Jenny McCarthy, Candace Cameron Bure and Rosie O’Donnell among the cast who have come and gone.

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