Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski, who made a huge splash at the Sochi Games in February, will serve as NBC's new lead figure skating analysts, beginning Sunday with the network's "Skate America" coverage.
Along with play-by-play announcer Terry Gannon, the pair will succeed the previous lead announcing team of Tom Hammond, Scott Hamilton and Sandra Bezic. Hamilton, who has been with NBC since 2002, will remain as a "special contributor."
Weir and Lipinski got rave reviews for their commentary on NBCSN's live coverage of figure skating from Sochi, where every part of the competition was shown before being re-packaged for prime time coverage.
"We thank Tom, Scott and Sandra for their many years of excellent work on Olympic figure skating, they set the bar high," Jim Bell, NBC's executive producer for the Olympics, said in a news release announcing the changes Wednesday. "We are looking forward to hearing more of Tom's signature track and field calls at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio."
NBC has been expanding the profile of Weir and Lipinski, who served as fashion experts for coverage of the Kentucky Derby in May and for Access Hollywood's coverage of the Academy Awards.
"I am so honored to be a part of the NBC family and I hope to bring figure skating and the Olympics into America's living rooms for many years to come," Weir said in a news release. "I could not have asked for a better first experience than in Sochi and along with my broadcast partners Tara and Terry. I cannot wait to start a fresh new era of commentary and analysis that will entertain and inform. I love my sport and I can't wait to go on more Olympic journeys!"
Said Lipinski: "NBC gave us an opportunity of a lifetime in Sochi, I could not be more excited to continue this journey. My goal is to continue educating, entertaining and bringing the incredible sport of figure skating to a new generation of fans. It is an honor to be a part of an Olympics. I cannot wait to begin and I'm lucky to have my talented co-pilots Johnny and Terry by my side. Being a part of this is a combination of all of my favorite things and I look forward to the adventures in the years ahead."
Said Gannon: "I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to cover skating at the highest level on NBC with partners that are informative, unpredictable and uniquely stylish . . . time to upgrade my wardrobe."