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Tag: Olympics (1-10 of 35)

Best of 2014: How Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski became the breakout stars of Sochi

Ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White earned gold in Sochi, so we’ll say the second best performance delivered by U.S. figure skaters at the 2014 Winter Olympics was Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski, who joined play-by-play announcer Terry Gannon in the booth. The trio have since been named NBC Sports Group’s new lead figure skating broadcast team, which means they’ll be calling the action through the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

We chatted with Weir and Lipinski to learn five secrets to their Sochi success.

Click here for more of’s Best of 2014 coverage. READ FULL STORY

ABC to air figure skating specials featuring Meryl Davis, Charlie White

Figure skating fans (so, everyone) don’t have to wait until the next Winter Olympics to see some ice dancing on their TV sets.

ABC just announced a deal with Disson Skating to air a series of four 2-hour figure skating specials starring winners from this year’s Olympic ice dancing competition, including gold medalists (and newly-announced Dancing with the Stars season 18 contestants) Meryl Davis and Charlie White.

The first two specials will air fall 2014, while the second two will be saved for early 2015. Dancing with the Stars winner and figure skating champ Kristi Yamaguchi will host the show with fellow Olympian Michael Weiss.

Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski will take on Oscars red carpet

The Olympics weren’t the end of Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir’s fabulous collaboration: The two oh-so-fashionable figure skaters will provide their commentary on the Oscars red carpet this Sunday, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The duo, who brightened up the Olympics with their memorable outfits (and incisive quips) as they commented live on skating events, have been hired by Access Hollywood. Host Billy Bush will interview stars on the actual red carpet as Weir and Lipinski sit in a tower above the crowd, giving their thoughts on the night’s fashions.

But the real question is, what will they wear? Matching flowers in their hairSubtle golden crownsGlitter? Either way, one thing’s for certain: Whatever Lipinski and Weir choose, their outfits are sure to be coordinated.


Bob Costas eyes his return, NBC Olympics EP defends Bode Miller interview

After six nights away from his Fortress of Solitude desk, Bob Costas will return to NBC’s primetime Olympics coverage Monday night. Speaking on a conference call with reporters this afternoon, Costas categorized his pinkeye status: “On the injury list of 1 to 10, this is now at about a 2.” The light sensitivity and blurriness has subsided, but, “as people will see tonight, there’s still some redness there,” he said. “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, so you just go with it.” READ FULL STORY

2014 Olympics: Matt Lauer to fill in for infection-fighting Bob Costas -- VIDEO

The pinkos have finally won.

By that, of course, I’m referring to Bob Costas’s red-rimmed eyes — inflamed with an infection that’s plagued NBC’s lead Olympic commentator since the network’s coverage of the Sochi Winter Games began last week. (The infection started in Costas’s left eye and has subsequently spread to his right.)

Though Costas has soldiered on despite his ailment — even gamely downing a glass of vodka with Mary Carillo night — the Peacock announced Tuesday that the sportscaster is finally stepping aside, at least for one night. Costas will be taking the day off from coverage; Today anchor Matt Lauer will fill in for him during NBC’s primetime broadcast.


Winter Olympics: Peter Dinklage is the voice of NBC's opening ceremony tease

The Winter Olympics is coming! In an inspired move, NBC has enlisted Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage to voice the opening tease for the montage that will begin its coverage of the opening ceremony, which airs Friday, Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m. ET. NBC Olympics executive producer Jim Bell made the announcement via Twitter (with the hashtag #winteriscoming, of course).  READ FULL STORY

NBC Olympics boss confident in security in Sochi and that primetime ratings won't be hurt by live coverage

With exactly two weeks until NBC begins its primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics in Sochi — competition begins Feb. 6, the day before the Opening Ceremony — more than 900 employees are already in Russia, with another 1,400 on the way. They’ve seen an unprecedented amount of security, NBC Olympics president Gary Zenkel told reporters on a conference call Jan. 23.

“You don’t get into the Olympic Park and you don’t get into an Olympic venue without what’s called a spectator pass, which is the equivalent of a credential, which means everybody who’s been issued one has been background checked,” he said.

The volume of surveillance, he added, seems larger than any prior Olympics, winter or summer, including the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, which took place five months after 9/11: “Unlike most Olympics, the footprint of this Olympics is essentially two locations — the coastal cluster, where all the indoor venues are, and the mountain cluster, where all the outdoor venues are. They’re very confined and very compact. So there really is a perimeter that the Russians, as everybody has now seen, have overlaid just a tremendous security force.”

As for coverage, NBC Olympics executive producer Jim Bell is planning 1,539 hours of programming — which is more than the total for the Vancouver and Torino Winter Olympics combined. (It helps that there are 12 new events.) All events will be live-streamed on, with those feeds starting again at 3 p.m. daily, which means you have two opportunities to watch before prime time. According to research from the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, people who were live-streaming during the day were actually more likely to watch more Olympics television at night. “The lesson from London, anyway, was simply that more meant more,” Bell said. “Not only did it not cannibalize, it also helped us grow audience on television. This will be the first time we’re doing it at a Winter Games, and we’re hopeful for a similar result.”

Winter Olympics: Watch Shaun White practice the Triple Cork 1440 in his road-to-Sochi special -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

If you want to know how two-time Olympic gold medal-winning snowboarder Shaun White practices seemingly impossible tricks like the Triple Cork 1440, you’ll want to check out his special Shaun White: Russia Calling, airing Jan. 25 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. The exclusive clip below gives you a feel for the size of the halfpipe and the heights White soars to better than competition coverage you’ve seen on TV. The danger he faces also becomes clearer as his team watches him land the Triple Cork in an airbag: “He’s basically landing it, the thing is that there’s no good scenario if he doesn’t land it — he’s carted off by ski patrol if he doesn’t land it. So it’s so deep in his head that we just watch him land it over and over and over again to the bag, but to him, that’s his season, that’s his Olympics, if he doesn’t put it to snow right.”

NBC won't stream Winter Olympics opening ceremony

NBC promises to stream more than 1,000 hours of the Winter Olympics from Sochi.

But not the part that sometimes draws the most viewers.

The broadcaster revealed at a press event Tuesday that the opening ceremony on Friday, Feb. 7 will not be streamed online. Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Sports Group, told Variety: “We want to put context to it, with the full pageantry it deserves.”

Real-world translation: We don’t want to do anything that might decrease ratings on the NBC broadcast network. Given NBC spent an estimated $2 billion for rights to broadcast the games in Sochi, a plan that corrals viewers in front of the traditional TV for the event’s kick-off is understandable. And with NBC planing to make every competition available online, it’s tough for streaming fans to gripe too much. Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira and Bob Costas will host the opening. The closing ceremony, the executive added, might be streamed online.

Jay Leno compares Sochi Olympics to Nazi Germany

Once again, Jay Leno is not holding back on his way out the door at NBC. On Monday night, the departing Tonight Show host compared the upcoming Sochi Olympics to Nazi Germany due to Russia’s anti-gay law.

Leno started the topic by asking guest Meredith Vieira, who will help cover the Games with NBC’s Today team, if she was excited about the event. “I have mixed feelings, with all the stuff going on in Russia with [President Vladimir] Putin and the anti-gay legislation,” Vieira said. “There was a lot of debate, internally … at the end of the day it’s about the athletes. But I really hope that people demonstrate there.”

Then Leno took the chat to the strongest metaphorical level: “I don’t know how [Russia’s law is] different from — I mean, this is how it started in Nazi Germany — ‘Oh, the Jews, let’s put them over here,'” he said. “It makes me uncomfortable.” Germany hosted the Olympic Games in 1936.

NBC has spent billions for coverage rights to the Games, and next year will be used to help promote Leno’s Tonight Show successor Jimmy Fallon, who takes over the veteran series in February. Yet the network is facing potential public backlash during its typically upbeat Games coverage given Russia’s stance toward gays and lesbians — the last thing NBC wants is viewers to be “uncomfortable” with the thought of supporting its programming. READ FULL STORY

Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): Yes, NBC's Olympic diving producer knew you'd love those Tom Daley shower shots


The Summer Olympics wasn’t just about Phelps vs. Lochte, or smiling with Gabby Douglas while crying with Jordyn Wieber. It was also about those shower shots of British diver Tom Daley, bronze medalist in the men’s tense 10m platform competition. While NBC Olympic diving producer David Gibson insists he didn’t intentionally place graphics over the divers’ trunks to make them appear nude (“That was a coincidence,” he says, with a laugh), he does confirm that those Daley shower shots were, in fact, something he knew would be a hit with viewers. “I think we pretty much knew instantly, like yourself,” he says. “You could just tell. You could feel it in the truck. In the arena, when they put him up on the Jumbotron, people reacted to it.” For more stories behind this year’s top TV and movie moments, click here for’s Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes) coverage.  READ FULL STORY

'Pretty Little Liars': Olympic champ Missy Franklin lands guest spot

Missy Franklin’s gold medals have won her a ticket to Rosewood.

The Olympic swimmer, who scored five medals in London this summer, is set to guest star on Pretty Little Liars, the network announced today.

In the episode, Emily (Shay Mitchell), who is a swimmer, ends up having coffee at The Brew with the gold medalist, who is playing herself. READ FULL STORY

Ryan Lochte responds to 'SNL' impression: 'That was a pretty harsh one'

They say you haven’t really arrived until Saturday Night Live parodies you, and if that’s true, then Ryan Lochte — Jeah! — officially became a Hollywood celebrity Saturday night, after SNL host Seth MacFarlane portrayed him as a lovable idiot who could barely string two words together on “Weekend Update.”

Lochte appears to be taking the parody in stride: “Well, I gotta admit that was a pretty harsh one, but it’s cool to have Seth parody me,” he told Celebuzz. “I think he pegged me wrong, but when I heard he did a skit I knew I was in for it!”

Lochte got to have the last laugh, though, spoofing his spoof by telling Celebuzz, “It’s all in fun and of course if I’m talked about on SNL I know they are gonna get me ‘Go-od,'” a reference to MacFarlane’s imitation where he pronounced the show Go On as ‘goon.’

Check out MacFarlane’s Lochte impression below: READ FULL STORY


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