Winter Olympics Opening Film Voiced By ‘This Is Us’ Actor Sterling K. Brown

Winter Olympics Opening Film Voiced By \'This Is Us\' Actor Sterling K. Brown
What NBC talked about opening night, and what it didn’t
nFrom the network of “This Is Us” now comes “This Is U.S.,” and NBC would do well to be careful how it tests viewers’ patience in stretching out certain storylines over the next two weeks.

The network’s bespoke prime-time presentation of the Pyeongchang Olympics opening ceremony Friday night was tailored for American viewers in a way that simultaneously was predictable yet baffling.

What NBC talked about opening night, and what it didn’t

That NBC’s over-the-air broadcast hosted by Mike Tirico and Katie Couric would differ from the unadorned international feed of the extravaganza streamed live on NBCOlympics.com more than half a day earlier was to be expected.

For general American consumption, the network was bound to use its resources and the time difference between here and South Korea to streamline the pageant, emphasize Team USA’s presence and insert its commercial breaks and promos.

OPENER: For those who wanted to enjoy the opening ceremony without commentary, they had their chance earlier when NBC streamed it live online when it started at 6 a.m. ET in the United States. It was a minimalist experience, with full audio and pictures, but no announcers. If you wanted to know who was carrying the flag for Australia, or what a particular scene was meant to symbolize, your guess was as good as anyone else’s. Some shots needed no narration, like the excitement on the faces of North and South Korean athletes marching in as a unified team.
What NBC talked about opening night, and what it didn't
What NBC talked about opening night, and what it didn’t

But who would have guessed that in doing so NBC would actually expand the parade of nations, a ritual of ceremonial importance that’s always a bit of a slog for viewers and ripe for compression?

The parade of athletes from each country walking into the stadium and taking their seats, which took 50 minutes or so to complete in real life, went 95 minutes in NBC’s production.

Mind you, NBC’s rendition of the ceremony as a whole, which ditched much of the speechifying by Olympic and South Korean leaders and trimmed other elements, took only 15 minutes longer than the actual running time of two hours, 15 minutes.

But rather than account for only about 21 percent of a show filled with music, dance, puppetry and other pageantry, NBC opted to make the walk-and-wave presentation of flags, parkas and mobile phones 38 percent of the program.

Imagine NBC editing “Sunday Night Football” so that more than a third of the telecast was devoted to players being introduced, entering and leaving the game, watching the action from the sideline and mouthing “Hi, mom!” to the cameras.

“I can’t believe that it’s been 30 years since we started our relationship with NEP, for our production of the Olympics,” said Adams. “Time flies when you have a valued facilities provider with an experienced team of professionals that have helped us produce the past 12 Olympic Games. We look forward to working with them on this next edition of the Olympics.”
Bob Costas Hands Mike Tirico the NBC Olympic Host Role
Bob Costas Hands Mike Tirico the NBC Olympic Host Role

Some of NBC’s larding was the result of wedging commercial breaks into the broadcast that were longer than planned gaps in the proceedings.

<img src="http://newsenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/13/winter-olympics-opening-film-voiced-by-t_4.jpg" title="NBC Olympics Selects NEP Group for its Production of 2018 Olympic Winter Games” alt=”NBC Olympics Selects NEP Group for its Production of 2018 Olympic Winter Games”>
NBC Olympics Selects NEP Group for its Production of 2018 Olympic Winter Games

Olympics chat with NBC’s Mike Tirico: Trying to be Bob Costas ‘would be stupid’

Some of the expansion, however, was just so NBC could show more U.S. athletes.

"It's a sure security miss to have an invader once during the program, let alone what seems to be the same person," NBC announcer Mike Tirico said at the conclusion of the broadcast. He otherwise praised PyeongChang for its ceremony which promoted a message of peace and unity.

Viewers listening carefully while members of Team USA smiled for NBC’s cameras, which dwelled on them for several minutes after their entrance, might have heard the stadium announcer in the background rattling off the names of nations following them into the stadium.

"It was a Korean spectator and he was removed from the stadium as soon as he was taken off the stage," a spokeswoman for the Games told Channel News Asia.

When NBC returned from a commercial break, however, Bermuda, Belgium, Belarus, et al, still got their star turn.

An intruder at the Opening Ceremony in PyeongChang entered onto the stage twice during the show, NBC revealed at the end of its telecast.

Tirico, who has succeeded Bob Costas’ role as lead prime-time Olympics host, acknowledged the network did some editing.

Couric, back on NBC for a night on loan from National Geographic Channel (which got a plug for her next documentary series), noted the South Koreans’ use of “augmented reality” to create special effects seen only on TV.

So not everything seen on TV was visible to attendees, and choreography involving lights on drones and ski hill choreography was taped in December.

Going to say it, the excessive commentary from these narrators is dreadful and is ruining the entire #OpeningCeremony.

What was lost to editing was no great loss, although U.S. viewers were deprived of a knowing chuckle from hearing International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach thank the volunteers making the Pyeongchang Games go. There’s just something about the head of a multibillion-dollar global concern publicly acknowledging his unpaid labor force that’s amusing.

Why Isn’t Bob Costas Hosting the Olympics This Year? And Learn More About the Man Taking His Place

But for all the artistic flair on display, the greatest drama was in the stands of the $100 million stadium that South Koreans built to use just four times.

Couric pointed out Vice President Mike Pence was sitting in the same dignitary box with Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. A guest of Pence’s was Fred Warmbier, father of Otto Warmbier, a college student whom North Korea imprisoned for 17 months and who died shortly after being released while in a coma.

“There is no question about the signal the (Trump) administration is trying to send here — a reminder of what is universally considered the most barbaric and brutal regimes in the world,” Couric said.

NBC began more than two weeks of Winter Olympics coverage on Thursday with Tirico as the new host and with some new wrinkles and the hope that its business model keeps pace with the different ways people experience events on television and online.

NBC straight-washed the Olympics Opening Ceremony. Here we go again.

Much was made of the fact that amid all the fireworks — real and symbolic — the host South Korean athletes marched together behind a unified, neutral flag with athletes from their longtime nemesis, missile-testing North Korea.

The most valuable — if sparingly used — player in NBC’s coverage, Joshua Cooper Ramo, the vice chairman and co-CEO of Henry Kissinger’s Kissinger Associates consulting firm, offered an important insight into this clearly historic moment.

Who Is Narrating The Opening Ceremony Video? Sterling K. Brown Had People Crying

“What we honestly don’t know yet is why it is historic,” Ramo said. “That is what makes it such an unusual and important moment.

“Are these teams taking the first steps down a new and peaceful path, or is this the very last image of fellowship and hope before tragedy strikes? That is why it is so electric here. Hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of lives are at stake.”

Tweets About Katie Couric Hosting The Olympics Opening Ceremony Are So Supportive

No matter how it’s presented and what resolutions are promised, the real cliffhanger of these Winter Games almost certainly will remain unresolved after the closing ceremony in two weeks.

Live-streamed without NBC commentators, Olympics opening ceremony a runaway sensation »

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The network’s bespoke prime-time presentation of the Pyeongchang Olympics opening ceremony Friday night was…

Fireworks erupt as the cauldron is lit with the Olympic flame during the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Pyeongchang Stadium on Feb. 9, 2018.

Fireworks erupt as the cauldron is lit with the Olympic flame during the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Pyeongchang Stadium on Feb. 9, 2018.

A general view as flag bearer Erin Hamlin of the United States and teammates enter the stadium during the opening ceremony.

A general view as flag bearer Erin Hamlin of the United States and teammates enter the stadium during the opening ceremony.


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