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‘Meredith Vieira Show’ Ending After Two Seasons

NBCUniversal Television Distribution has pulled the plug on “The Meredith Vieira Show,” canceling the syndicated talk show after it finishes out its second season in May.

The daytime series was centered around the veteran journalist and former “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” host and premiered in early September 2014. A month and a half later, it received a second-season renewal.

However, “” was averaging about 1.1 million viewers this season, down about 25% from the previous year, according to Nielsen. It was the second least-popular of the 15 current syndicated talk shows on the air (the first being Disney-ABC’s “FABLife,” which recently lost co-host Tyra Banks).

“I am so sorry to see our show come to an end after this season, but I am also incredibly proud of the work our staff has done and forever grateful to our supportive viewers. We promise to spend our final weeks producing the best broadcast we know how. And have a blast doing so,” Vieira said in a statement.

Vieira will finish out production on the current season of the talk show before heading to Rio to work on NBC’s coverage of the Summer Olympics.

The news came soon before it was announced that NBC-owned stations had renewed Warner Bros.’ “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” through 2020. The show already had a pact that would keep it on those stations through 2017.

On NBC-owned stations, Vieira’s departure will result in the addition of a 4 p.m. newscast on NBC stations in New York and Los Angeles and two other markets.

Rick Kissell and Cynthia Littleton contributed to this report.

The answer is actually the same for both questions (too bad there’s no money riding on this).

The reason Meredith Vieira left the long-running syndicated game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” is because of what she’s doing next: hosting her own syndicated daytime talk show.

The descriptively titled “Meredith Vieira Show” will premiere in September, apparently everywhere. The latest numbers say the show has been sold to networks in more than 85 per cent of the country, making it “the biggest new syndicated entry for the fall,” according to Deadline.com.

Note above that it says Vieira “left” “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” — it was her decision, so that she could “pursue other opportunities,” according to a spokesperson from ABC, which produces “Millionaire.”

At the time of the announcement a year ago, those “opportunities” were still mysterious, and it wasn’t until July that her talk show was officially announced by producer NBCUniversal.

And while Vieira has had other projects on the go in the meantime — she’s served as a “special correspondent” on NBC, and launched her own YouTube channel with original content a few months ago — they are part-time endeavors that she could have done simultaneously with “Millionaire,” unlike a five-day-a-week, hour-long talk show.

“The Meredith Vieira Show” is clearly a very personal project. Its set is being built to resemble her own home, and she’s even bringing some of her own furniture and family photos to make it real.

She said in an official statement that all of her previous experiences — her time on “Today,” hosting “The View” and even “Millionaire” — have led her to this new gig.

“All of these experiences, along with being a wife and mom, have led me here because they all share one common denominator — this fundamental need we have to connect with and find inspiration in each other.”

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Today, Meredith Vieira is one of the most recognizable journalists on TV. Apart from being one of the original members of The View, she has also made a name for herself on the Today show and Dateline NBC. Additionally, she’s hosted both Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and her own talk show called The Meredith Vieira Show. And through all of her career success she’s been married to her husband of 33 years, Richard M. Cohen – who happens to be a three-time Emmy-winning journalist himself.

But before Meredith and Richard were a power couple in the journalism field, they were just two young reporters in love.

How Meredith met Richard

Meredith and Richard first met back in the 1983. Meredith, at the time, was based in CBS News’s Midwest bureau. Richard, on the other hand, worked out of CBS’s New York City offices and specialized in political coverage. One day, Richard came in from New York to do a story in Chicago about the governor’s race, and said something “so obnoxious” to Meredith.

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Meredith didn’t know at the time that 10 years prior, Richard had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), a potentially disabling disease of the central nervous system. As a result, Richard’s balance, strength, and eyesight were slowly deteriorating.

Richard told Meredith about his condition on their second date, even though he wouldn’t tell anyone at his job, in fear of what might happen. As AARP reported, during their dinner date, Richard joked that if his illness was going to scare her off, “Why waste money on dessert?”

Of course, Meredith was nothing but empathetic about Richard’s condition. Even still, she says it wasn’t always easy keeping his MS a secret.

Taking on Richard’s MS together

Three years after they met, the two were married in 1986. Around the same time, Richard became much more outward with his disease to his friends and co-workers.

While this was a relief to the couple in many ways, telling the world about Richard’s MS had an unintended consequence. As he wrote about in his 2005 memoir Blindsided, many people began characterizing their relationship as a “sob story,” calling “Meredith the martyr and Richard the wretched.”

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Even though Meredith has made it very clear that she doesn’t feel she is a “full-time caretaker,” Richard’s disease definitely had an impact on their marriage.

“Chronic illness is a family affair. Spouses have the burden of tending to the needs of a loved one, even when they would secretly rather push him out a window,” Richard wrote in his 2018 book Chasing Hope: A Patient’s Deep Dive into Stem Cells, Faith, and the Future. “I knew they should not be treated as spectators when they are in the ring with us.”

His book also reveals that, sadly, he and Meredith suffered four miscarriages before welcoming their two sons and daughter into the world in the late ’80s and early ’90s — they had Benjamin in 1989, Gabriel in 1991, and Lily in 1993.

“I never had trouble getting pregnant, but I always had trouble holding onto pregnancies,” Meredith said on Today. “For those of you going through stuff, know that I have gone through it, too.”

Meredith and Richard today

Today, the couple is doing well. Despite Richard battling two bouts of colon cancer in 1999 and 2000, he is still hopeful about his health situation. Currently, Richard is legally blind and is reportedly struggling with his limbs.

“You don’t have to be controlled by it,” he told Yahoo Lifestyle. “I can give you a long list of things that I can’t do anymore. You just sort of learn to accept that. I look at our three kids, I look at our relationship, I’ve written four books … what do I have to complain about?”

As for their three children, Meredith recently announced that Gabriel (a.k.a. Gabe) is engaged and is now a reporter based in Seattle.

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“I am Googling now nicknames for grandma,” she told Jenna Bush Hager on Today. “I have to say I am. Grammy, Nana, Mimi, Grams.”

Meanwhile, their son, Ben, allegedly went to Harvard Business School and now works in Silicon Valley. Their daughter, Lily, works for a lifestyle website called TasteMade out in California.

It’s clear that both Meredith and Richard are nothing but proud of the family they’ve created together.

“If you want to have strong, secure kids, don’t hide things from them,” Meredith told Wicked Local. “Tell them the truth. We’re a close-knit family. I think that’s partly because we shared everything with them, including illness.”

Related Stories Kayla Keegan News and Entertainment Editor Kayla Keegan covers all things in the entertainment, pop culture, and celebrity space for Good Housekeeping.

(Dan Fried – H&H Photographers)

Bestselling author and award-winning journalist Richard M. Cohen, whose wife is TV personality and journalist Meredith Vieira, has been living with multiple sclerosis for over 40 years.

Although he’s legally blind and struggles with simple movements due to failing limbs, his new book Chasing Hope is full of humor while it also sheds light on a groundbreaking medical procedure that gives hope to people who suffer from debilitating illnesses. It also shares his deeply personal story of highs and lows.

Read on for a particularly gripping excerpt from the book.

One day, I fell one time too many. Meredith wanted to call the police again. Her words fell on deaf ears. I shouted, no, please don’t. I was upset and insisting I would get myself up. I all but banished her from the room. Not a smart move. I was out of control and more self-conscious about bothering the police again than about what I was doing to my wife.

Meredith had a different take on the situation. She had been pushed over the edge. She angrily told me she was done with the MS. I still can visualize the desperation on her face. “We can’t live this way,” she kept repeating. I was not to ask her to do anything more for me. Period.

Meredith added that some of our friends thought I was selfish, thinking only of myself. Then she abruptly left the house. Meredith was pissed and probably hurt. This was a sobering moment for me. I thought hard about how much Meredith does for me and how ungrateful I must seem, nursing my own emotional needs and ignoring hers.

It took me more than an hour to pull myself up three stairs toward her office so that I could use the iron railing to help me stand. Finally, I was vertical. I knew I had to do something about my attitude. My self-absorption had reached critical mass. I sat at the computer and consulted Dr. Google to find a company that sells pendants with a button to send an alarm when there is a medical emergency.

After ordering the pendant, I took a deep breath and contacted the local constabulary. It was time to have a conversation with them. As usual, the men in blue were terrific. I don’t know why I was so hesitant to involve them. They told me they go to people’s homes regularly to assist residents in need. “There is an elderly lady with MS who falls out of her wheelchair almost every day,” one officer explained in a reassuring tone. “We are always there.”

The officers agreed to take a key to the front door in case Meredith was away when I paid one of my visits to the floor. They put me at ease, but they kept calling me “sir.” I thought of what they had said about the old lady who could not stay in her wheelchair, and I figured the young cops must have seen me as an old man.

I knew I could not let vanity get in my way. I had waited far too long to make these moves. When you are acutely ill, self-absorption may be excusable. Maybe. But I had strayed from understanding that when it results from a chronic disease, sorry, Charlie. Chronic illness is a family affair. Spouses have the burden of tending to the needs of a loved one, even when they would secretly rather push him out a window. I knew they should not be treated as spectators when they are in the ring with us.

It’s funny how self-absorption can marry self-doubt. They feed off each other. More than forty years since the diagnosis, I was feeling more threatened than ever. I was scared silly of finding myself in a helpless state from which there would be no escape. It scared me that my deterioration was outpacing my father’s.

No longer could I slide smoothly into the front passenger seat of a car; instead, I had to grab my leg with my hands and drag the deadened limb into the vehicle. One day I realized I could not move my fingers enough to put on a pair of gloves. I stared at my right hand in disbelief. I could not write or even hold a pen in my right hand. I could not hold a fork with that hand and eat, couldn’t shave or brush my teeth with it either. I had to pivot to the left. I was a right-handed guy living a left-handed life.

No longer could I pretend I was winning the war. In short, I was in a bad place, withdrawn and spending too much time alone. One day my home phone rang and rang. Caller ID signaled it was a good friend. I listened to the message. He was inviting me to join him to walk along the river, as we so often did.

My chest tightened, but I did not answer. I waited until the message finished and then erased it. I only wanted to be left alone. I was hiding, warehousing myself on a dusty shelf out of sight.

This was the condition I found myself in during the spring of 2012, when Meredith called from the car on her way home from work to tell me she had been contacted about a stem cell conference to be held at the Vatican. The two of us were going to be invited to participate.

Huh? This was intriguing, since Rome is among our favorite places and, at the very least, it would be wonderful to have a reason to go there again. But the proposed plan was also puzzling. The Vatican hosting a seminar analyzing stem cell therapies? Meredith went on to say that they wanted her to act as one of the overall hosts, and they were interested in having me chair a panel on cell therapy and its applications for autoimmune diseases, including MS. of course, that was a subject about which I knew precisely nothing. Weird. What was this all about? I wondered. I could hear Meredith shrug over the phone. When we hung up, I sat in silence for a few minutes. I struggled to make sense of a stem cell conference at the Vatican. The Catholic Church’s fierce opposition to embryonic stem cell research was well known. The idea of my participation at such a gathering was also confusing, since I could not imagine what I would bring to it.

But the prospect of a scientific meeting shedding light on stem cell therapy certainly was enticing. I had not known that patients were already being treated with stem cells. Could this be a ticket out of my cave? A trip to Rome sounded pretty good too. I was excited, even a little bit hopeful about what I might learn there. A seed had been planted in my head. I needed to hear more.

From CHASING HOPE by Richard M. Cohen, published by Blue Rider Press, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2018 by Richard M. Cohen.

Richard M. Cohen can pinpoint the moment he went from retired television news producer with multiple sclerosis to advocate for the chronically ill. It was in 2004, and he was giving a talk at his local library about his bestselling memoir, Blindsided: Lifting a Life Above Illness. Some 250 people—five times more than expected—showed up, and soon began swapping stories. “I thought, ‘Someone ought to write a book telling other people’s stories.’” So he did. Strong at the Broken Places: Voices of Illness, A Chorus of Hope was quickly followed by a pioneering radio program on WABC in New York that deals with chronic illnesses. Cohen, 60, discovered he had MS—his father and grandmother had it, too—in 1973. For the next two decades he refused to let the illness slow him down, covering wars and national politics as a CBS producer, and marrying Meredith Vieira, now cohost of NBC’s Today show, with whom he has three children. But by 1996 his disabilities were so severe he could no longer work in television. Today he devotes his time to being a voice for the millions with an incurable disease. “Everybody is touched by chronic illness,” he says. “It’s the flood under the door.”

What is Meredith Vieira’s Net Worth and Who Is Her Husband?

Meredith Vieira is one of television’s most respected and beloved journalists and news hosts. Her impressive resume includes her time on 60 Minutes, appearing on the original panel of ABC’s The View with Barbara Walters, co-hosting Today, her own talk show The Meredith Vieira Show, and game shows Who Wants to Be A Millionaire? and most recently, 25 Words Or Less, to name only a few of Vieira’s endeavors.

Meredith Vieira | Manny Carabel/WireImage

Find out more about her husband, Richard Cohen, her reaction to the recent allegations against her former Today co-anchor Matt Lauer, plus her net worth.

Vieira’s husband, Richard Cohen and living with MS: ‘There are days I can’t stand it’

Vieira and her husband, Richard Cohen have been married for over 30 years. The former Today host talks openly about almost everything in her life. She’s talked freely about her infertility challenges and about all that drama on The View.

She speaks a great deal as well about her relationship with her husband and how living with his multiple sclerosis has affected him and their relationship and family. Cohen was diagnosed at the age of 25 and has lived with the condition for 46 years.

(l-r) Richard Cohen and Meredith Vieira during an interview with host Jay Leno on November 9, 2012 | Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Speaking with People in September, Vieira spoke frankly about it.

“We definitely allow each other to vent. That’s part of the deal. Certainly he’s allowed to vent, because he’s got chronic illness. But I am too. Because there are days I can’t stand it and the limitations it puts on the entire family. It’s good to say it. But we don’t dwell. You can think, ‘Why us?’ but then it’s like, ‘Why not us?’ So many people are dealing with stuff and it puts it into perspective.”

Vieira’s reaction to allegations against her former ‘Today’ co-host, Matt Lauer

Vieira spent five years co-anchoring the morning show with Matt Lauer, starting in 2006. She recently shared her shock upon hearing of her former co-host and friend’s firing.

The 65-year-old told People earlier this year, “I was and my phone started going off at 4 a.m. I didn’t know what to make of all of it. It was a shock. Matt and I were very close. He was very kind to me. We both have similar senses of humor. We’re both sarcastic. The whole thing is just sad. And it’s been rough in a lot of places with a lot of people.”

Co-anchors of NBC’s TODAY show Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira | Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Vieira’s name recently came up in author Ronan Farrow’s book, Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators. In the book, he named Vieira as the person who encouraged Brooke Nevils, Vieira’s assistant on Today, to report Lauer to higher-ups after Nevils had confided in Vieira that Lauer had allegedly sexually assaulted her.

Vieira’s net worth

Vieira’s net worth is $40 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Her long-spanning career and ongoing relevancy in her field make her an in-demand correspondent. She is an intermittent correspondent for NBC’s Dateline and was tapped by PBS in 2018 to host the Royal Wedding Watch and a live broadcast of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s nuptials.

Read more: ‘Today Show’s’ Jenna Bush Hager Just Made Her November Book Club Pick

Meredith Vieira Feels Cheated With Husband! Talks On Married Life In Interviews

Once depressed about her husband’s health issues, Meredith finally called it quits. But, the quits was a bit unconventional and not as what many had expected!

Meredith Vieira is an American journalist better known for hosting the NBC’s talk show, Today, besides co-host Matt Lauer. The Emmy award-winning journalist has garnered a lot of attention by having her hands in numerous programs, and TV shows.

Now Co-Hosting: Meredith Vieira co-hosts Good Day L.A (Published on Aug 2, 2018)

Meredith now has left Television to take care of her husband, but she gets on the screens doing different things every once in a while.

Meredith Vieira Bio: Age, Parents, Education

Meredith Vieira was born on 30 December 1953 in Providence, Rhode Island. She grew up in East Providence by her parents Mary Elsie (Rosa) and Edwin Vieira. Her father was a medical doctor, and her mother was a homemaker. Both her parents were Portuguese Americans. In her family, she has three older brothers as siblings. As per herself, she does not believe in religion but in spirituality.

Interesting: Faith Daniels, Married Life With Husband – Juggling Family And Career Perfectly

She attended Lincoln School- an all-girls school as her high school in her hometown. Later, she graduated from Tufts University in 1975 with a degree in English.

Meredith Married To Richard Cohen, Problems Due To Husband’s Health Issues

Meredith is in a married relationship with fellow reporter Richard Merrill Cohen since 14th June 1986.

Now, in any case, if you thought that the title referred her husband as a cheat, let us clear you, it’s only her husband’s disease that makes Meredith feel cheated.

Yes, Meredith’s husband Richard, also an Emmy winning journalist, has multiple sclerosis since he was at his 20’s and is a survivor of two colon cancer that appeared in 1999 and again in 2000. He, as of now, is legally blind and uses a cane to walk around.

Talking about husband’s illness during an interview with the People on 13th October 2010, Meredith expressed that she feels cheated due to her husband’s sickness, as he could no longer run or walk like before.

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Meredith, the mother of three children: Ben, Gabe, and Lily, even said that Richard’s health issues brought strains in their relationship, as both of them were stubborn. But, she added that their sense of humor helped them a lot to protect their bond.

Family In Frame: Meredith Vieira with husband Richard, three children (Photo: dailymail.com)

Meredith even quoted that despite all the stress in her life, she will stick with Richard and said she would never get married again if anything happened to Richard. Further, at Today, Meredith uttered that if she leaves her job after her contract is over, she will look forward to making time for Richard and her family rather than working again.

Quits Television For Husband

Just as she quoted, after a year when the contract for Today was over, Meredith decided to quit the show to spend more quality time with her husband and got rid of the 2.30am wake-up calls.

Talking about her life after quitting the job during an interview with the GH Editor in May 2013, Meredith revealed that she had a great time alone with her husband while being at the Cape Cod. She further mentioned that she has got time to spend quality moments with her friends and family.

Meredith further uttered that she could adequately be around her husband and though she misses her children; said that it was okay, as they could focus on each other.

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As for now, besides spending time with husband and children, Meredith works as a special correspondent for NBC News and is a contributor to its showToday, the NBC Nightly News, and Dateline NBC.

As a reward for her contribution to the media business, Meredith has accumulated a net worth that totals up to $40 million.

Replay Video SETTINGS OFF HD HQ SD LO Skip AdVeteran journalist Richard Cohen has a strong family history of multiple sclerosis, but he says he was in “denial” when he first started showing signs of the disease.

“My father had MS, as did his mother,” Cohen tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “It was already a family illness.”

Cohen was just 25 when he was diagnosed. “I dropped a coffee pot for no reason. I fell off a curb for no reason. I noticed a little numbness in my leg,” he says. “It hit my eyesight fairly quickly, but other than that, I was very active physically and I thought I was really beating it. I was living in denial.”

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A post shared by Meredith Vieira (@meredithvieira) on Apr 16, 2014 at 7:44am PDT

He met his future wife, television host Meredith Vieira, in 1982, and says the two “went toe to toe” from the start. “I thought two things: ‘What a jerk’ and then my second thought was, ‘I’m going to marry this guy,” Vieira recalls. They’ve now been married for 32 years and have three kids.

Cohen says he had been living with MS for 10 years when he met Vieira, and he told her about his illness soon after they started dating. “I sort of learned the hard way to get it on the table,” he says. “She didn’t blink.”

© Provided by Oath Inc. Meredith Vieira with her husband Richard Cohen, who has multiple sclerosis. (Photo: Getty Images)

Otherwise, Cohen says, he kept his diagnosis a secret, although it was hard on him. “A secret sickness is not a happy way to live,” he says. Eventually, Cohen discovered that writing about his MS was “emotionally useful” and he wrote a book about his experience with MS called Blindsided.

Since then, Cohen has written several more books about living with chronic illness, including Chasing Hope: A Patient’s Deep Dive into Stem Cells, Faith, and the Future, and Strong at the Broken Places: Voices of Illness, a Chorus of Hope.

Cohen says he often tells people who are newly diagnosed with MS that they should understand that they’ll live with their illness for the rest of their life. “You don’t have to be controlled by it,” he says. “I can give you a long list of things that I can’t do anymore. You just sort of learn to accept that. I look at our three kids, I look at our relationship, I’ve written four books…what do I have to complain about?”

Meredith Vieira, whose new daytime show debuts Sept. 8, was photographed on Uncle Tim’s Bridge in Cape Cod. (Michael Edwards for Parade; Styling, Styling, Fran Taylor; Hair, Freddy Sanchez; Makeup, Bradford Knight)

Meredith Vieira is having a hard time finishing her lobster roll. Sitting at a picnic table at PJ’s Family Restaurant in Wellfleet on Cape Cod, she keeps getting interrupted by people who know her, or rather feel they know her: a steady stream of mothers, daughters, and grandmothers who want to chat with the woman who’s been talking to them for years on The View and the Today show. In between bites, Vieira listens to their life stories, recommends PJ’s kale soup, and coos over one fan’s new grandchild. No one asks for her autograph. To them, she is more than a celebrity; she is a friend.

“When you do a daytime show, there’s such a connection, a bond that you form with the audience,” Vieira, 60, says after posing for a photo. “It’s fabulous.”

Vieira greets fans outside a ­local marketplace. “My number-one ­activity on the Cape is eating lobster rolls,” she says. “I also take a lot of long, long walks.” (Michael Edwards for Parade; Styling, Styling, Fran Taylor; Hair, Freddy Sanchez; Makeup, Bradford Knight)

Vieira shares another bond with these particular fans: a love of Cape Cod. Though she grew up in the tight-knit community of East Providence, R.I., and her primary home is in suburban New York, she has been spending time on the Cape for more than three decades. Her husband, the journalist and author Richard M. Cohen, first brought her to his parents’ summer house on this 70-mile-long Massachusetts peninsula in the early 1980s. Since then the couple has been through many ups and downs, raising three children together and dealing with countless career changes and life challenges (Richard, 66, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when he was 25). But the Cape has been a constant in their lives.

“I like the Cape because it’s scruffy,” says Vieira. “I would love to be refined, but I’m not. I wouldn’t fit in in the Hamptons. I fit in here; it just feels comfortable.”

Vieira takes you on a tour of some of her favorite spots on the Cape, and reveals her secrets to the perfect lobster roll, in this exclusive video:

On a typical day at her family’s airy, light-filled cottage overlooking the water, Vieira is likely to be reading a book on the couch, watching the tide come in and the sailboats go out. When the children were little, the house was full of happy chaos. Now that they’re grown (Ben is 25; Gabe, 23; and Lily, 21) and scattered around the world, it’s calm—the perfect place to unwind before heading back to daytime TV.

With her husband, Richard M. Cohen, and their children (from left), Ben, Lily, and Gabe, in March 2013. “My family has always been the driving force,” she says. (Courtesy of Meredith Vieira)

On Sept. 8, she will debut as host of The Meredith Vieira Show, which she hopes will entertain as much as it will inspire. In addition to game-show elements and celebrity guests, the hour-long weekday program, produced and distributed by NBC Universal, will feature human interest stories and community calls to action. In one recurring segment, Vieira will pair a service dog with a family in need. In another, the show’s Pick Me Up Truck will roam the country looking for ways to lend a little support, whether by donating books to schools or connecting someone to a job.

“I want a show that, in its own little way, will make a difference—without being up on a soapbox,” says the multiple Emmy winner, who has been brainstorming ideas with her executive producer, Rich Sirop. The pair also worked on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, which Vieira hosted for 11 years through a suffering economy. “When times were really bad, you could change someone’s life just by playing that game,” she says.

Vieira is in well-charted waters—she spent nine years on The View and five on Today, before leaving in 2011—but this is her first time anchoring a program with her name on it. “For somebody who has been in front of the camera a long time, I’m really shy. I didn’t even want to call it The Meredith Vieira Show,” says the host, who suggested V as an alternate title. “That’s what my friends call me, and maybe if it succeeds, it can be V eventually.”

The name game aside, Vieira has been adamant about having the show reflect who she really is. “Meredith is exactly the same on-camera as she is off,” says Sirop. “She’s a kisser, and we joke that her lips carry more germs than a door handle, because she’s probably kissed 100 strangers before coming to work.” Originally, Vieira wanted to film at her house in New York’s Westchester County, “because I would never have to get dressed up,” she jokes. “My husband said, ‘Forget about it.’ But I said, ‘Then at least I want the authenticity of my furniture.’ The cats and the dog ruined it, and I just want people to see this is how I live, and probably the way a lot of people live.” So while the show will be filmed at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the set has been designed to look like her family room. “I want people to feel they are, in a sense, coming into my home,” she says. “It’s a safe place where you talk, you laugh, you cry.”

Vieira in her early 20s. (Courtesy of Meredith Vieira)

That deep sense of camaraderie is a reflection of Vieira’s own values, honed growing up the youngest of four children (she has three brothers) whose parents, both first-generation Portuguese-Americans, were a doctor and a homemaker. She credits her father’s dedication to helping people (“Most of his patients were Portuguese immigrants; his waiting room would be packed, and he didn’t leave until he’d seen every single one”) and her mother’s “spunk” with giving her a strong foundation. “My mother was kind of women’s lib before there was women’s lib,” she says. “I think she liked being a homemaker, but she wanted me to think the way a guy would.”

In 1982, when she was a reporter for CBS News based in Chicago, Vieira met Cohen, then a CBS News producer. The pair hit it off, but she noticed a “sadness” about him. When he told her on their second date that he had multiple sclerosis, she could have walked away (another woman had), but she chose to stay. Some years later, “he wanted me to go to a doctor’s appointment with him,” Vieira recalls. “There were two or three guys there in wheelchairs, young men. So if ever going to run … But I thought, ‘I’m not going to live my life worrying about what-ifs.’ ” The couple married in 1986. Today, Vieira says, “Richard walks with a cane, and he’s legally blind, although he never misses a good-looking woman. I’m serious—I’m like, ‘Are you blind or not blind?’ But he’s very productive; he writes, and we laugh a lot.” Cohen has high praise for his wife’s patience. “Having an illness can be a very solitary experience,” he says, adding that they don’t use a caregiver. “Sometimes I retreat and ‘go into my cave,’ and she’s not threatened by that. She’s willing to go with it.”

Vieira seems to prefer laughing to dwelling on what she can’t change, but the fact is that living with a chronic illness in the family has given her a certain clarity of perspective. “Her career always took a backseat to her personal life,” says Joy Behar, her former colleague on The View, “and that’s a very admirable quality in a business where the stakes are so high.”

At her wedding to Richard, June 1986, flanked by her parents. (Courtesy of Meredith Vieira)

For her part, Vieira thinks maybe her career path was meant to be. “I’ve taken all these curves because of my family. I’ve always had enough faith in myself that I’d find something, and I had some tough years.” She famously didn’t last at 60 Minutes, after taking over from Diane Sawyer in 1989 as the only female correspondent. “It was a boys’ club back then, and it probably still is in some ways,” says Vieira, who had just given birth to her first child, after enduring three miscarriages, and was working part-time. “You had to be in the office and court Don , and my attitude was, just do my story and get out. I wanted to be with my kid. … Don used to say they set up the nursery for Ben. There was no nursery; I was not encouraged to bring Ben. That was just PR. It was a different generation of guys. In fact, right before I left , Morley Safer pulled me aside and said, ‘To this day, I regret that I wasn’t there for my kid. You did the right thing.’ ”

More than two decades later, she has mixed feelings about “having it all.” “That expression puts pressure on people,” she says. “I think you can have it all, but not all at once. Life is about priorities, and priorities change. You have to live a life that’s true to you.”

Having done so, Vieira takes milestone moments like her 60th birthday last December in stride. “My husband threw me a surprise party at the Friars Club,” she recalls with delight. (The New York club is known for its roasts of comedians, but, says Cohen, “I put the word out that there was not going to be any frying or roasting.”) “I sat there surrounded by friends and family,” Vieira says, “and I loved that I had accumulated this great group of people.”

In 2011, Vieira re-prioritized again when she left her cohosting job on Today, for which she made a reported $10 million salary. While it was a tough goodbye (and harder for the show, perhaps, which slipped in the ratings after failing to make a smooth transition with Ann Curry), it was the right decision for Vieira, who was exhausted from waking up at 2:30 a.m. “I was happy from seven to nine, because I love live television, but I couldn’t stand the hours,” she says.

While she’s tired of reading about the “morning show wars” (“I feel like, enough!”), she does weigh in on the major-network -nightly news beat, which once boasted two women, Katie Couric and Diane Sawyer, as solo anchors and soon will have none. “When will we get -another chance at one of those key positions?” she asks. “Is there no in the pipeline who could do that job? There’s got to be.”

At her home on the Cape. “This house has been heaven for us,” she says. (Michael Edwards for Parade; Styling, Styling, Fran Taylor; Hair, Freddy Sanchez; Makeup, Bradford Knight)

Since leaving Today, Vieira has enjoyed spending a lot more time on the Cape, where the days seem slower. “Richard and I may sit out on the deck and chat, or read the paper, and, you know, time just goes by,” she says. “Before you know it, you’re having a glass of wine and the sun is setting.” She and her brother-in-law even briefly contemplated buying a local general store after it closed down about a year ago. “I said, ‘We’ll run it. I’ll make the coffee.’ I was serious about it. I have harebrained ideas all the time about things I can do—and I’d be very happy.” Just as long as they don’t take her too far from the beach.

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. To enter and for full rules, go to www.parade.com/meredith. Starts 5:00 P.M. ET, 8/22/14, and ends 4:59 P.M. ET, 8/29/14. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and District of Columbia who are at least 18 years (or the age of majority in their state of residence), except employees of Sponsor or NBC Universal media, LLC, their immediate families, and those living in the same household. Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received. A.R.V. of 1 grand prize: $1,000.00. Transportation not included. Sponsor: Parade Media Group. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, NBC Universal Media, LLC, or Facebook.

Meredith Vieira Says She and Husband Richard Cohen Vent Frustrations About His MS

Meredith Vieira is not one to shy away from honesty.

The veteran news anchor, who is back on television with 25 Words or Less, Fox’s syndicated new game show, has always been candid about her triumphs — and struggles.

“It’s been a constant search to navigate and make my own way,” Vieira, 65, tells PEOPLE. “But you have to pick your path and be happy.”

  • For more about Meredith Vieira, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

For Vieira and her husband of 33 years, journalist Richard Cohen, 71, that means accepting challenges when it comes to his health.

Cohen, who is legally blind, is also living with multiple sclerosis, or MS, an autoimmune disease that targets the central nervous system.

Today, Cohen is “doing okay,” says Vieira. “But it’s a progressive illness, so you don’t know from day to day. He needs a walker, and since he’s been using it, he’s much stronger. It was something he dreaded, but it’s been a blessing.”

Image zoom Meredith Vieira Amanda Friedman

Still, Vieira is frank about coping with the tough days.

“We definitely allow each other to vent,” she says. “That’s part of the deal. Certainly he’s allowed to vent, because he’s got chronic illness. But I am too. Because there are days I can’t stand it and the limitations it puts on the entire family. It’s good to say it. But we don’t dwell.”

RELATED: Meredith Vieira’s Husband Richard Cohen Opens Up About How His MS Diagnosis Impacted His Marriage

Image zoom Cindy Ord/Getty

Continues Vieira: “You can think, ‘Why us?’ but then it’s like, ‘Why not us?’ So many people are dealing with stuff and it puts it into perspective.”

And Vieira says the ability to laugh is indispensable.

Image zoom Meredith Vieira and Richard Cohen with family Courtesy Meredith Vieira

RELATED: Meredith Vieira Feels ‘Cheated Sometimes’ by Husband’s Illness

“Richard is a very funny person, and I have a good sense of humor,” says Vieira. “So that’s sort of our thing.”

And the mother of three says she has plenty to smile about these days, including her son Gabe’s upcoming nuptials, and her new show, in which contestants try to get their two celebrity partners to guess 10 answers in 25 words or less.

“The game is so fun,” says Vieira. “And the group of people I work with are so kind. Maybe it’s the age that I am now, but I just want to work with nice people. That’s the most important thing!”

25 Words or Less premieres Sept. 16 (check local listings).

Richard Cohen is an Emmy-winning TV producer, notable journalist, and a veteran writer. He is also the husband of NBC correspondent Meredith Vieira. The two have been married for more than 30 years and they have 3 children together – Benjamin Edwin (born 1989), Gabriel (born 1991), and Lily (born 1993). Cohen was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) at the age of 25. When he met Vieira in the 1980s, he told her about his condition during their second date. “He asked me ‘What does MS mean to you?’ And I said ‘It’s a magazine. MS magazine.’ The worst that I thought was that he could lose his sight. And I was OK with that,” said Vieira.

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The couple got married in 1986 and since then, Vieira has stood by her husband’s side through the difficult times. Still, she stresses that his condition has taken a toll on their marriage and restricts some of their opportunities. “I feel cheated sometimes. We used to run together and go on ski trips or go to the beach. Now, it’s very hard for Richard to stand. But we’re very lucky in what we do have,” she said. The couple try to look on the bright side of life and they say that a sense of humor helps. Although they take Cohen’s condition seriously, they are careful not to take themselves too seriously. “Richard’s a funny, sarcastic guy. If you can have a lightness to your step, it helps a lot,” said Vieira.

Sharing with their family

Vieira and Cohen did not tell their children about their father’s condition until Ben was 7, Gabriel was 5, and Lily was 3. During one instance, the three children saw their father fall backwards down a flight of stairs and land on his head. Vieira said that their children were sensitive, yet intuitive. She noted that Ben, the oldest child, did not know what was going on; however, he knew that something was not right. As they grew up, Ben, Gabriel, and Lily talked openly about MS at home, but they focused most often on normal everyday activities. “It definitely affects everybody in the family; it affects what you are able to do, how quickly you can do something… But everybody has something in their family that’s unique,” said Lily about MS.

Previous encounters with chronic illness

Cohen not only copes with MS, but he is also a two-time cancer survivor. He battled colon cancer in 1999 and again in 2000, after which he wrote Blindsided. During his second battle with cancer, he had hit a low point in his life. “I had worked so hard, really for my whole adult life, to stay up and positive and optimistic. And this was crushing. And I sort of took it out on the family. And I was very dark. I was very difficult to deal with. And Meredith came up to me and said, ‘You’ve got to stop this, you know? You’ve gotta stop treating your family this way. You know, they’re the ones who love you’,” he wrote.

Read on to learn more about Richard Cohen’s ongoing battle with MS.

Photo: Today

Meredith Vieira and Richard M. Cohen have been married since 1986. (Getty)

Meredith Vieira, who returned to NBC’s The Today Show to co-host the second week of 2017, is married to former journalist Richard M. Cohen. The two have been married since 1986 and have three children.

The 68-year-old Cohen is an Emmy-winning journalist who worked for CBS News and CNN. However, his greatest achievement is overcoming colon cancer twice. He is also legally blind and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when he was 25. Today, Cohen writes a blog called Journeyman.

Here is a look at Cohen’s life and career.

1. Cohen Kept His MS Diagnosis a Secret to Get a Job at CBS News & Told Vieira About His Condition on Their Second Date

Richard M. Cohen Stem Cell InfusionRichard M. Cohen documents his first infusion of mesenchymal stem cells as part of the first clinical trial using stem cells to treat multiple sclerosis. Follow his progress at richardmcohen.com. 2014-03-20T05:18:31.000Z

Cohen shared his life story in the 2005 book Blindsided: Lifting a Life Above Illness: A Reluctant Memoir. The book was a New York Times bestseller and is still in print.

While promoting the book, Cohen told ABC News that his father told him that he and his grandmother both had multiple sclerosis. At age 25, Cohen was diagnosed with the neurological disease himself while working as a news researcher. He said he kept the diagnosis to himself because he thought it would hurt his chances to get a job. He was hired by CBS News, but didn’t tell his bosses about it right away.

“I lied to get the job,” Cohen told ABC News. “I faked my way through the company physical … I was scared to death because by now I was somewhat blind in both eyes.”

Cohen told ABC News that most women would not continue dating him after he told them about his condition, even though it was barely noticeable. Vieira did not go running though, when he told her during their second date.

“He asked me ‘What does MS mean to you?” Vieira told ABC News. “And I said ‘It’s a magazine. MS magazine.’ The worst that I thought was that he could lose his sight. And I was OK with that.”

2. Vieira & Cohen Didn’t Tell Their Three Children About Their Father’s MS Until After They Saw Him Fall

Meredith Vieira, Richard M. Cohen and their children in 2005. (Getty)

Vieira and Cohen are parents to Ben, Gabriel and Lily. They didn’t tell them about their father’s condition until Ben was 7, Gabriel was 5 and Lily was 3. According to an AARP profile, the three of them saw their father fall backwards down a staircase and land on his head.

“I realized kids are intuitive; they are sensitive,” Vieira told AARP. She added of Ben, “He didn’t know what it was, but he knew something wasn’t right.”

As the children grew up, they openly talked about MS in the house, but they focused on normal activities more often. Lily called her childhood “completely normal,” telling AARP that MS “definitely affects everybody in the family; it affects what you are able to do, how quickly you can do something… But everybody has something in their family that’s unique.”

In recent years, MS has taken its toll on Cohen’s health. He is now legally blind and his right hand is too weak to even carry an old book. He uses a cane and has trouble walking for more than a city block. His voice also has a “scratchy warble to it,” as AARP described.

Of course, this doesn’t stop him from writing. He frequently posts on his blog, with his most recent post coming on January 3, 2017.

3. Cohen Also Battled Colon Cancer Twice, First in 1999 and Again in 2000

Cohen not only lives with MS, but is also a cancer survivor… Make that two-time cancer survivor. Both of these bouts required invasive surgery. After his battles with cancer, he wrote Blindsided.

In a WebMD column, Cohen wrote that the second bout with cancer was “the low point in my life.” Cohen wrote:

I had worked so hard, really for my whole adult life, to stay up and positive and optimistic. And this was crushing. And I sort of took it out on the family. And I was very dark. I was very difficult to deal with. And Meredith came up to me and said, “You’ve got to stop this, you know? You’ve gotta stop treating your family this way. You know, they’re the ones who love you.”

But Cohen said that people who frequently face illnesses can still have a life and could even embrace it as who they are. He wrote that, while he would trade away the cancer battles, he would trade in MS.

“It’s who I am, it’s part of my identity. And it really is my mission. And it means so much to me to work with other people and to do the writing that I’ve done,” Cohen wrote. “I continue to say, you know, that I have a great life. And I have no regrets.”

4. Cohen Described What He Sees as an ‘Impressionist Painting’ & Said MS Attacked Both Optic Nerves

Meredith Vieira and Richard Cohen, A Sarcastic Love StoryMeredith Vieira met her husband, Richard Cohen, in an unusual way — and it all started with a sarcastic comment. Hear her side of things here, in a video for her new daytime talk show, premiering September 8, 2014! 2014-08-20T23:21:52.000Z

While on Larry King Live in 2004, Cohen explained that he isn’t completely blind, but described what he sees as an “impressionist painting.”

“You go 20 feet away and it all fades away and blurs and becomes very fuzzy in the distance,” Cohen told King. He added that MS attacked both optic nerve.

When King asked how he could be a television producer while being legally blind, Cohen explained, “Well, legal blindness is different from blindness, and television, as you know, is a collaborative medium. And I just had good people with me — camera crews, correspondents — and I really relied on the vision of other people to sort of fill in what I could not see clearly, myself.”

In that same interview, Cohen described MS as a “constant companion,” adding, “It’s just built into life, and, you know, it just is something you endure, something that you — at least I decided early on, and Meredith decided early on, it was not going to deter us from having a normal life, raising three kids, and going forth.”

5. Cohen Had a Serious ‘Touch & Go’ Health Scare in 2014 & Took Part in a Trial That Involved the Infusion of Stem Cells

Richard Cohen & Meredith Vieira on CNN 11/21/11Meredith Vieira and husband Richard Cohen are interviewed by Piers Morgan of CNN about their life, family, living with Multiple Sclerosis, and her television career. Very positive and eye-opening video! 2011-11-23T04:20:14.000Z

On April 1, 2014, Cohen shared a blog post titled “Crisis.” He had a swollen foot and after going to a local hospital, it was discovered that he had a blood clot. “A CT scan indicated a piece of the clot had broken off and reached my lungs, perched on a blood vessel close to my heart,” he wrote. “This was dangerous.”

Cohen wrote that he was on blood thinners and doctors told them that it was “touch and go.” HE wrote:

Twenty-four long hours later, what they called an “umbrella” was passed through a vein in my leg to the abdominal cavity. The umbrella was opened and provided a net to catch any future clots. Within days, the blood thinner had stopped the clot in my chest. The crisis seemed to end, and a new phase had begun. There’s a lot to figure out for the future.

Cohen said this had nothing to do with a stem cell clinical trial he was involved in. Instead, he suggested that it had to do with “too many hours sitting in one position at the computer.”

Over a month after the scare, Cohen appeared on The Today Show, where he told Matt Lauer that he had no regrets about taking part in the stem cell trial. It involved an infusion of stem cells extracted from his body.

“Absolutely none. Because I’ve had the illness for over 40 years. I’ve been told for that period of time that there really is nothing for the kind of MS that I have,” Cohen said. “And you know, when you’re in that kind of a situation, the concept of hope doesn’t even go through your mind. Suddenly I realized, maybe, just maybe, there was some kind of hope.”