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‘Today’ EP: Olympics a ‘Cleansing Moment’ For The NBC Morning Show

The excutive producer of NBC’s “Today” and the network’s Olympics coverage, Jim Bell, speaks to The Hollywood Reporter‘s Marisa Guthrie in a London 2012 postmortem interview.

Questions about NBC’s Olympics coverage abound, as well as the morning show’s ratings struggles:

The Hollywood Reporter: How will the Olympics provide Today with forward momentum?

Jim Bell: For the Today show, the Olympics were a cleansing moment. It was a lot of fun to be in the midst of such a big event and maximize exposure to people who might not have been watching. Moving forward, we’ve got to convince some of those people that they might want to stick around.

He added later:

Obviously, the first half of 2012 was tougher for us. I don’t need to sugarcoat it. It was tough. But London felt big and special. And it reminded everybody — even us — how lucky we are to be able to work on this show.

Since returning to New York, the show finds itself at risk once again. “Today” won Monday in the ratings, but fell to “Good Morning America” in total viewers on Tuesday. “Today” is pulling out all the stops this week, scheduling high-profile concerts every day, and having Olympic athletes on to serve as special contributors.

Related: My behind the scenes look at “Today” during the Olympics.

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