Meredith Vieira Pulls Olympics Duty Tonight, First Woman Ever to Serve as Solo Host

Meredith Vieira Host Winter OlympicsMeredith Vieira will fill in for Bob Costas as host of NBC’s Winter Olympics coverage this Friday night.

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As such, Vieira — who during the games’ first week acted as special correspondent and cohosted NBC’s Opening Ceremonies coverage — becomes the first woman in U.S. television history to serve as solo host of primetime Olympics programming.

On tap for tonight: Medals will be awarded in men’s figure skating (with Canada’s Patrick Chan a favorite. Also: finals in Alpine skiing’s men’s super-combined; women’s freestyle skiing (aerials); and women’s skeleton.

Waylaid by an eye infection that, among other things, was not at all telegenic, Costas took medical leave this past Tuesday, while Matt Lauer filled in. Costas said in a Thursday interview that he hopes to be back on duty by this weekend, to cover the second half of the games.