Countdown To Beijing

By Chris Ariens 

NBC News has begun the warmup for the 2008 summer games. The games are now just a year and a day away. As Paul Gough writes in the Hollywood Reporter, the Today show is running stories this week featuring “Meredith Vieira from her trip to China, including stories on the country’s cuisine and the Beijing National Stadium.”

In what might be “one of the first times a live TV signal has been broadcast without government control from inside communist” China, the Today show will cover the one-year countdown live at 8:08am tomorrow morning, from Tiananmen square. (The Chinese believe eight is the luckiest of numbers. The games begin on 08-08-08.)

Tomorrow’s Today show coverage will feature “correspondent Mark Mullen and American swimmer Michael Phelps in Beijing, and Olympic gold medalists Natalie Coughlin and Paul Hamm in Rockefeller Plaza.”

>An emailer adds: “CNN International has been running a number of special and live reports from the Chinese capital, with Kristie Lu Stout, Andrew Stevens and John Vause.”