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Meredith Vieira will make television history tonight as the first woman to lead NBC’s primetime Olympics coverage. She is filling in for the still-ailing Bob Costas, who was replaced by Matt Lauer for three days.
Costas has been sidelined with an eye infection after anchoring the first days of NBC’s Sochi coverage. Lauer has been hosting the primetime broadcast for the past three days. That ended a record streak for Costas, who has hosted primetime Olympics coverage for every broadcast since 1988.
“It's an honor to fill in for him,” Vieira said on NBC’s Today Show. “You think about the Olympics, and you think the athletes and then Bob Costas.”
NBC Olympics Executive Producer Jim Bell did say that Costas’ eye infection is getting better, but, “If your eyes are sensitive to bright lights, a TV studio is not the place to be.”
Although Vieira no longer hosts the Today Show, she has remained a presence at NBC News and co-hosted the Opening Ceremony in Sochi and London with Lauer.
“I'm dragging a little today, I didn't sleep at all since yesterday morning,” Lauer said. “Meredith's fantastic, she'll be great, she really will, and I know she's going to have a blast. It's fun!”
NBC’s primetime Olympics coverage starts at 8 p.m. and features taped events from the day. Sochi is nine hours ahead of the East Coast, but NBC has been using its cable networks and websites to present live coverage.
image courtesy of NBC