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Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski To Cover Fashion At Kentucky Derby For NBC Sports

nbcs-johnny-weir-and-tara-lipinski-brought-22-pairs-of-shoes-and-10-pounds-of-jewelry-to-sochi__140225210302-575x431Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski are back, on NBC Sports. The two will serve as fashion experts for  NBC Sports Group‘s coverage of the 2014 Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby. NBC Sports Group’s live coverage from Churchill Downs begins April 30. Olympic figure skaters Weir and Lipinski were the It Couple of the 2014 Sochi Games, covering figure skating for NBC Sports. Weir and Lipinski will work as fashion experts for the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 3 and the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 2. Most recently, Weir, a three-time U.S. figure skating champion, and Lipinski, the 1998 Olympic figure skating gold medalist, were also fashion critics for Access Hollywood’s coverage of the 2014 Academy Awards.
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David Letterman Battles Jimmy Fallon’s First Week With Sochi Olympics Medal Winners

By | Tuesday February 18, 2014 @ 10:16am PST

While NBC‘s new Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon is stocking up on celebrities to push ratings in hisMedal Ceremony - Winter Olympics Day 6 first week in the new gig — Jerry Seinfeld, Kristen Wiig, and Lady Gaga tonight –  over at CBS, competitor David Letterman has stocked up on Olympic athletes.  Letterman’s show has lined up U.S. Olympic Men’s Snowboarding Slopestyle Gold Medalist Sage Kotsenburg for tonight’s show, and Kaitlyn Farrington, U.S. Women’s Halfpipe Gold Medalist Kaitlyn Farrington for tomorrow night.

Related: Gold Medal Olympic Snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg Sits Down With Dave Letterman Tonight: Video

U.S. Men’s Ski Slopestyle Medalist Trio of Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper will celebrate their Olympic sweep with Dave on Thursday. Kotsenburg became the first gold medalist of the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi when he won the top medal in Men’s Slopestyle snowboarding competition, which made its event debut at these Olympic games. Farrington made her Olympic debut by taking thome the gold in the halfpipe event.  And Christensen, Kenworthy and Goepper dominated the medal podium for the U.S. in the U.S. Men’s Ski Slopstyle which made its  debut at the Sochi games. Their podium sweep is just the third for the U.S. in Winter Olympic history, joining men’s figure skating in 1956 and men’s halfpipe snowboarding … Read More »

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UPDATE: Bob Costas Makes Return To NBC Olympics Coverage With Joke and Apology

By | Monday February 17, 2014 @ 5:10pm PST

SochiOlympicsNBCUPDATE, 5 PM PT: “Welcome to NBC’s primetime coverage on this Monday — I’m Bob Costas, sitting in tonight for Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira,” Costas joked at the top of tonight’s NBC primetime Sochi Olympics coverage. He was returning to Games coverage for the first time after nearly a week off while doctors treated an infection in both of his eyes. A few moments later, more seriously, he offered “sincere thanks to Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira – two friends and true pros who stepped in for me on short notice. My thanks as well to all of you who expressed your concern, and my apologies to everyone for the unavoidable but uncomfortable circumstance of a broadcasters ill-timed affliction getting in the way, even for just a few moments, for what we all came here for – the Olympic Games.”

Related: Sochi Olympics’ Second Sunday Ratings

PREVIOUS, 12:02 PM:  “Our long nightmare is over,” NBC Olympics EP Jim Bell said this morning to kick off a phone conference call with the media in re Bob Costas’ return to the network’s primetime Sochi Olympics coverage. Costas returned to the NBC Olympics studios at the International Broadcast Center in Sochi, Russia, on Sunday to prepare to resume his primetime and late-night hosting duties tonight. Costas is better, but his eye condition still is  noticeable and he will wear glasses again. On today’s phone call, Costas joked of his eyes, “It won’t look as bad as it did the last night I was on the air, and probably it will look better 10 days from now — but the Olympics will be over.” His absence, since last Tuesday, ended his streak of 157 consecutive appearances as NBC’s Olympics anchor in primetime; it was the first time since 1988 that Costas had not hosted the primetime coverage. Read More »

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UPDATE: NBC Olympics EP Jim Bell Defends Bode Miller Interview About Dead Brother That Brought Him To Tears (Video)

By | Monday February 17, 2014 @ 10:50am PST

LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198UPDATE: 10:45 AM: NBC Olympics executive producer Jim Bell said this morning it would have been “irresponsible” of NBC had the network not asked U.S. Olympic skier Bode Miller questions about his dead brother, and U.S. skeleton racer Noelle Pikus-Pace questions about a miscarriage she suffered a few years ago, during its coverage of the two athletes’ respective medal wins. Bell insisted he’d do the same if covering any other sport, but that it’s especially important with “Olympics particularly, because people don’t know these athletes…It’s a bigger responsibility to share” this personal information, he insisted, in order “to get viewers to connect with those athletes…and their sports.”

bodemiller1Bell said he understood the reaction to particularly the Miller interview, and the public’s tendency to “take to Twitter to vent a little about it.” In the interview, conducted after Bode’s bronze medal Super-G run on Sunday and run at length during NBC’s primetime coverage last night, Olympics reporter Christin Cooper asked him multiple questions about his brother, as Bode choked up, and only ended when Bode doubled over weeping, then walked away. Bode’s brother died in April of an apparent seizure that may have been connected to a motorcycle accident.

In a phone call with press this morning, Bell maintained that, the “storyline about Bode” had been set up on the network’s Olympics broadcast the night before the interview, and he “felt it was important to finish it up.” He noted Miller himself took to Twitter to defend Cooper and that Bode had come on NBC’s Today this morning to tell viewers he did not blame her for the questions. “He said he thought it was fine and he stood by her,” Bell said, adding that should “take some of the temperature down on” the kerfuffle over that interview and the interview Meredith Vieira did with Pikus-Pace in which she asked the athlete about a miscarriage she suffered a few years ago. Bell, who was on the phoner to talk about Bob Costas’ return to the air tonight — a subject that quickly got overshadowed by questions about the Miller and Pikus-Pace interviews — said  “the way it played out was fine.”

In a statement about the Bode interview issued after Bode appeared on Today show,  NBC said: “Our intent was to convey the emotion that Bode Miller was feeling after winning his bronze medal.  We understand how some viewers thought the line of questioning went too far, but it was our judgment that his answers were a necessary part of the story. We’re gratified that Bode has been publicly supportive of Christin Cooper and the overall interview.”

PREVIOUS, 6:10 AM: NBC This morning asked Bodenbcsochi__131202172913 Miller, in so many words, to come to the defense of its Olympics reporter Christin Cooper, who has been under fire since she caused Olympic skier to double over and weep, with repeated questions about his brother’s death during an interview. (Watch after the jump).

Cooper has taken a lot of heat for going way too far in that interview she did with Miller after he won a bronze medal in the men’s Super-G ski race Sunday. Cooper became a Twitter trending topic – and not in a good way — almost immediately after it aired in full during NBC’s primetime coverage of the interview.  “We’re not done until you sob, Bode!” said one tweeter, pretending to be an NBC Sports exec. Read More »

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Bob Costas Returns To Sochi Olympics Coverage Monday (Photo)

By | Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 11:33am PST

Bob Costas Olympics returnBob 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 Back As Sochi Olympics Primetime Anchor; Bob Costas Still “Day To Day”

By | Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 7:10am PST

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 nbcsochi__131202172913__140212145821Costas 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 »

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Russian Police Choir Performs ‘Get Lucky’ On ‘Today’ As NBC Makes Amends For Opening Ceremony Snub (Video)

By | Monday February 10, 2014 @ 8:29am PST

NBC this morning tried to do damage control with regard to one of its controversial Olympics Opening Ceremony edits, when it had the Todayshow07__120726201155-200x129Russian Police Choir re-perform Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” on Today.

NBC’s shocking lack of cop-choir performance was among the offenses listed by The Reporters Who Cover Olympics in their How NBC Screwed Up the Opening Ceremony This Time think pieces last Friday. (The other biggie was NBC’s decision to edit IOC chief Thomas’s Bach’s opening ceremony speech so that viewers did hear him make one comment in favor of embracing human diversity, but did not hear him expand on the theme. “The IOC’s President was edited for time, as were other speeches, but his message got across very clearly to viewers,” an NBC spokesperson told Deadline after the ceremony broadcast.)

RussianPoliceChoir“We’re going to have them repeat the magic here,” Today talent enthused early in this morning’s broadcast, calling the choir’s Friday gig  “the performance of the night” and “an internet sensation.”

No mention was made of the fact NBC had not aired their act last Friday, but the Today talent several times re-iterated NBC’s defense on a technicality: the choir had performed at Sochi on Friday before the opening ceremony “officially” began. Read More »

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