Meredith Summers Biography & Facts
Meredith Louise Vieira (born December 30, 1953) is an American broadcast journalist and television personality. She is best known as the original moderator of the daytime talk show The View (1997–2006), the original host of the syndicated daytime version of the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (2002–2013), and as co-host of the NBC morning news program Today (2006–2011). She currently hosts the syndicated weekday game show 25 Words or Less.
Vieira has also been a contributor to Dateline NBC, Rock Center with Brian Williams, and NBC Nightly News, and hosted the Lifetime television series Intimate Portrait (1994–2005). From 2014 to 2016, she hosted her own syndicated daytime talk show, The Meredith Vieira Show.
Vieira was born in Providence, Rhode Island, and raised in nearby East Providence, the daughter of Mary Elsie (Rosa), a homemaker, and Edwin Vieira, a medical doctor, both first-generation Portuguese Americans. She is the youngest of four children, with three older brothers. All four of Vieira's grandparents came from the Azores—three from Faial Island, one of the nine islands in the archipelago. The family name Vieira means "scallop" in Portuguese. They emigrated to New England in the late-19th and early-20th centuries, settling around Providence, Rhode Island. Vieira was raised in the Roman Catholic faith, but she has stated in recent interviews that she has "spirituality, not a religion".Vieira attended the Lincoln School, a Quaker all-girls offshoot of Moses Brown School in Providence, graduating in 1971. She graduated with a degree in English from Tufts University in 1975.
Beginnings on radio and local TV (1975–1982)
Vieira began her broadcasting career in 1975 as a news announcer for WORC radio in Worcester, Massachusetts, doing afternoon drive news during the B. J. Dean Show. She began a career in television working as a local reporter and anchor at WJAR-TV in Providence, eventually making her way into the newsroom at WCBS-TV in New York City where she was an investigative reporter from 1979 to 1982.
CBS News (1982–1993)
Vieira first gained national recognition as a CBS reporter based in its Chicago bureau from 1982 to 1984. She later became a correspondent for nationwide news-magazine shows including West 57th (1985–89) and 60 Minutes (1989–91). Her final assignment at CBS was as co-anchor of the CBS Morning News (1992–93).
Move to ABC, Turning Point; Intimate Portrait; The View (1994–2006)
Vieira moved to ABC initially as one of six regular correspondents for the news-magazine show Turning Point (1994–99), and was also the host of the Lifetime Network's show Intimate Portrait, which debuted on January 3, 1995, and ran until August 28, 2004.Vieira served as the original moderator and co-host of ABC's daytime talk show The View from its debut on August 11, 1997, until June 9, 2006. As moderator, she was responsible for opening and closing each of the show's live episodes, introducing "Hot Topics," guiding conversations, and breaking to commercials. On her final episode of The View, Vieira's co-hosts gave her a roast to commemorate her departure.
Vieira explained what led her to become The View's moderator in an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, by making the following statement:
Once I realized I was a reporter who didn't want to report because it required a tremendous amount of travel, nobody was too interested in having me work for them. I had to reinvent myself.
In August 2006, Vieira told Time that she hasn't watched The View since she left the show, except the episode when Star Jones announced she was leaving. She said it was "very sad" what's happened to it: "I'm proud of the work we did there, but it's not a good time in the history of the show... It's hard to watch. It sort of became a joke." On August 29, 2006, Vieira told the New York Post that she didn't mean that The View was a joke. She said the interview was taken out of context. "I felt that the media was turning [The View] into a joke, not that the show was a joke," she says. Time added a clarification to its website, saying "[Vieira] assures Time that in no way were her comments meant to be insensitive or derogatory..."
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (2002–2013)
Vieira became the first host of the American syndicated version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire on September 16, 2002; prior to that, American audiences had known it as a primetime show on ABC hosted by Regis Philbin. Rosie O'Donnell (who would later succeed Vieira on The View) was originally offered to host the syndicated version, but rejected it almost immediately. Vieira won two Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Game Show Host for her hosting duties on Millionaire (one in 2005, the other in 2009); as such, she is the second woman ever to win an Emmy Award in this category (after Betty White for Just Men! in 1983), and the first to win multiple times. In addition to hosting the show, Vieira also served as its co-executive producer, a title that she would hold from 2005 until her departure from the show.
ABC originally offered Vieira hosting duties on the syndicated Millionaire to sweeten one of her re-negotiations for The View. When the show was honored by GSN on its 2007 Gameshow Hall of Fame special, one of the show's executive producers, Leigh Hampton, said that when the syndicated version was being developed, the production team felt that it was not feasible for Philbin to continue hosting, as the show recorded four episodes in a single day, and that the team was looking for qualities in a new host: it had to be somebody who would love the contestants and be willing to root for them. After O'Donnell declined the opportunity to host the syndicated version, Vieira was the one that the team settled on, because she had the above-mentioned qualities. On the special, Vieira herself gave the following explanation for why she decided to host the syndicated Millionaire:
I did the show because I fell in love with the show, and really, first and foremost, as a parent, [I feel that] there aren't that many shows on television that you can watch as a family. And when [the U.S. version's executive producer] Michael Davies approached me and said, "Would you be interested in hosting the syndicated version?", I said, "Just point me toward the contract! I am so there!"
Prior to hosting the syndicated version of Millionaire, Vieira was a celebrity contestant in a special tournament on the third season of the original primetime version, winning $250,000 for her selected charitable organization, the Windows of Hope Family Relief Fund. Seven and three-quarter years later, she would even turn the tables on Philbin himself with her surprise appearance on the finale of the show's 10th anniversary primetime revival on August 23, 2009—hosting its final segment while giving him the opportunity to answer one question in order to win $50,000 for his selected organization, Cardi.... Discover the Meredith Summers popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Meredith Summers books.