Even though Julie Chen was practically forced to host “Big Brother,” she wasn’t even the top choice for the gig. CBS originally tapped Meredith Vieira, but the famous journalist was busy with “The View” at the time.
“I was 29 years old, I had left local news and I got invited to CBS Network News. I was at the network for eight months and I got asked to host ‘Big Brother,'” Chen said on the docuseries “For Real: The Story of Reality TV,” via Heavy. “And I said, ‘So why did you guys come to me?’ [They said] we needed a journalist. We offered it to Meredith Vieira first and she turned it down and I’m like, ‘So how low was I on the list?!”
Being a host for a popular reality show wasn’t part of Chen’s plan. She thought her career was only going to revolve around reporting news. “If you had asked me years ago what was in my future, career-wise and job-wise, I would have never said a reality show, and I would have never said daytime talk. I thought my future was news through and through,” she said. But obviously, it all worked out in the end, and fans can continue looking forward to watching Chen on “Big Brother” for many seasons more to come.