Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

Follow All The Winter Olympics Action Feb. 6-24 on NBC

Meredith Vieira to Fill in for Bob Costas as Sochi Olympics Primetime Host

The former Today host will be the first woman to anchor the program solo, according to NBC.

By Torey Van Oot
|  Friday, Feb 14, 2014  |  Updated 12:07 PM EDT
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Former "Today" show host Meredith Vieira will take a turn headlining NBC's primetime coverage of the Sochi Winter Olympics Friday night.

Vieira, who was already in Sochi to co-host the Opening Ceremony and report on the Games, will fill in for longtime Olympics anchor Bob Costas, who has been sidelined by an eye infection since the start of the week. She will be the first woman to anchor the program solo, according to NBC.

"It's an honor to fill in for him,'' Vieira said on TODAY Friday. "You think about the Olympics, and you think the athletes and then Bob Costas."

Today show host Matt Lauer worked a double shift for the first half of the week, hosting both Today and the evening broadcast on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights. He said Friday that he plans to "sleep, sleep, sleep" during tonight's primetime taping.

"I'm dragging a little today, I didn't sleep at all since yesterday morning," he  told TODAY.com. "Meredith's fantastic, she'll be great, she really will, and I know she's going to have a blast. It's fun!"

Costas, a longtime fixture in primetime Olympics coverage, has been dealing with the infection since the opening of the Games. While he is on the mend, NBC Olympics officials say he needs more time before he can get back in front of the camera.

"Bob’s eye issue has improved but he’s not quite ready to do the show," NBC Olympics Executive Producer Jim Bell told TODAY.com on Thursday. "If your eyes are sensitive to bright lights, a TV studio is not the place to be."

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