For days NBC Sports had been saying its Nancy & Tonya documentary would probably air on Sunday before the Sochi Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony, which also would sync it up with the 20th anniversary of the 1994 Winter Olympics Figure Skating Competition. But that slot depended on any weather delays or unforeseen problems during NBC’s coverage. This morning, the network nailed down a timeslot: this Sunday at 7 PM ET/6 PM CT.
Mary Carillo will examine the events that held Americans spellbound after defending U.S. figure skating champion Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed in the knee after a practice during the 1994 U.S. championships and rival Tonya Harding’s husband and bodyguard were arrested for planning the attack. The docu, which combines present-day and archival interviews, practice and competition footage, and news coverage leading up to and during the events, includes a sit-down with Kerrigan and a one-on-one with Harding. It culminates in the three-hour telecast of the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics ladies’ figure skating short program competition that was viewed by more than 126 million Americans. That ranked at the time as the fourth-most-viewed show in U.S. history, according to Nielsen data released by CBS, which televised the event. In addition, the competition earned a 48.5 rating — meaning nearly 50% of the country’s television homes were tuned in, a number that has not been matched since by any television program.
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Today climbed back on top of the ratings among morning infotainment programs, last week, though it did not find itself at the same dizzying ratings heights, relative to the competition, it has enjoyed in past Winter Games. Today, after some recent ratings doldrums, delivered its biggest audience advantages over ABC’s Good Morning America since the second week of the London Games in August 2012, according to fast national program ratings from Nielsen for last week.
The second week of the London Games, you’ll recall, is the last time Today show beat GMA in total viewers. GMA has won every week since in overall audience.
Today averaged 6.221 million viewers last week — its biggest weekly crowd since the week of the Royal British wedding in April 2011. Today‘s 6.221 million viewers topped GMA’s 6.010 million for the week by 211,000 viewers. For comparison sake, that second week of the London Games, Today’s total viewers lead over GMA was 1.541 million. And Today’s lead over GMA during the first full week of broadcast from the Olympics in 2010 was 1.884 million.
In the news demo, Today averaged 2.545 million viewers its first full week of Sochi Olympics broadcasts – its biggest demo haul since the week of the Joplin, Missouri tornado in May of ’11. That 2.545 million is 185,000 viewers ahead of GMA’s 2.360 million demo viewers last week. Here too, it’s Today’s biggest edge over GMA since the second week of the London Games. Four years ago, during the comparable week at Vancouver, Today led GMA by 1.011 million demo viewers. Read More »
Angelina Jolie‘s Unbroken got a first-look tease today during the Olympics in an extended preview profiling Louis Zamperini, the Olympian-turned-WWII POW whose life story gets the big screen treatment this Christmas. Jack O’Connell plays the younger Zamperini with Japan’s Miyavi, Garrett Hedlund, Domhnall Gleeson, and Jai Courtney in supporting roles. The Universal release marks Jolie’s second feature as helmer following 2011′s In the Land Of Blood And Honey. Check it out:
Related: First Look Photo: ‘Unbroken’s Angelina Jolie & Louis Zamperini
Bob Costas returned to the NBC Olympics studios at the International Broadcast Center in Sochi, Russia, today to prepare to resume his primetime and late night hosting duties tomorrow night. Matt Lauer is back tonight as NBC’s Sochi Olympics primetime anchor for one more night before Costas returns to NBC’s air. Costas, who has battled an infection that began in his left eye and quickly spread to the right soldiered on the first few days of the network’s Sochi coverage before calling Lauer in from the “bullpen” on Tuesday. In interviews, Costas said the studio lights made it impossible for him to continue working with the eye condition.
Costas is better, but his eye condition is still noticeable and he will wear glasses again tomorrow night, an NBC Sports rep said today. Costas was at the NBC studio in Sochi today for about two hours, seeing how the light affects his eyes and having meetings to discuss his return tomorrow. His absence last week ended his streak of 157 consecutive appearances as NBC’s Olympics anchor in primetime; it was the first time since 1988 Costas had not hosted the primetime coverage.
Lauer last week pulled double duty for three days, co-anchoring Today from Sochi while also filling in for Costas in primetime. Meredith Vieira stepped in Friday and Saturday, becoming the first woman ever to anchor NBC’s Games coverage in primetime.
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Matt Lauer is back as Bob Costas‘ fill-in tonight as NBC’s Sochi Olympics primetime anchor, after Meredith Vieira did the subbing two nights and made TV history. NBC Sports still says Costas is “day to day.” Lauer last week pulled double duty for three days, co-anchoring Today from Sochi while also filling in for Costas in primetime. Costas is battling an infection in both eyes. Late last week, Costas told Ryan Seacrest in a radio interview he hoped to be back in the studio over the weekend. That’s not going to happen, which is sure to raise questions as to whether Costas will be able to return to the anchor desk before the Games wrap. Last Friday, NBC’s Olympics EP Jim Bell brushed off press suggestions the network might be ready to “shut down” Costas as its primetime anchor. “Getting into next week, it may become a topic of conversation, but we’re not there,” Bell said Friday.
This morning, NBC Sports was still saying “day to day” in response to questions about Costas’s condition and odds of return. In various interviews last week, Costas said he feels okay but can’t come back to work because of the specific nature of his eye infection — in some reports suggesting studio lighting, and makeup, may have exacerbated his condition.
Costas continues to deal with the effects of the infection that began in his left eye and spread to his … Read More »
Saturday’s Olympics men’s hockey game between Russia and the U.S.A. notched a best-ever streaming record for NBC Sports, the network announced today. The match, which went to an eight-round shootout and resulted in a win for the American squad, was live-streamed by nearly 600K users on NBCOlympics.com and NBC‘s Sports Live Extra app for a total of 14.7 million minutes of consumption. That beats streaming numbers for the Vancouver Olympics and this year’s NHL Stanley Cup Final. Due to popular demand, NBC will air portions of the game tonight in primetime with Al Michaels and Mike “Doc” Emrick joining Meredith Vieira at the analyst desk. The game will then air in full Sunday on NBCSN at 4:30 PM ET.
Related: Sochi Olympics Ratings Hit Low On Valentine’s Day
Meredith Vieira Steps In For Bob Costas At Sochi Games, Makes TV History
Bob Costas has had to call in sick a third day at Sochi. NBC Sports tweeted this morning that Costas, who’d been missing from the past two days of Olympics broadcasts owing to a nasty case of pinkeye, will sit out tonight’s primetime coverage. Once again, NBC News’ Matt Lauer will step in. “I’m hoping that I’m back by the weekend and I certainly think I’ll be able to do the second half of the games,” Costas told Ryan Seacrest on his radio program this morning, adding, “The virus, they tell me, won’t run its course for two or three weeks, but the symptoms will crest at their worst and start to get better pretty soon. As soon as the symptoms get to the point where I can be in the studio, I’ll be there.” Seacrest, like Costas, is part of NBCU-parent Comcast’s family — hence the interview going to Seacrest. Comcast calls it “symphony.”
Costas, NBC‘s primetime and late-night Olympics anchor, has been absent from NBC’s Games broadcasts since Tuesday, when his Twitter-trending swollen pink eyes forced him into what he called “involuntary” absence. Costas, via telephone, explained on NBC’s Today show his eyes had become so “blurry and watery…and so light sensitive” even dim light caused them to start weeping, making it impossible for him to work in the studio.
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