Update: This story was updated to clarify that for the first time in its 69-year history, Today began at 11 a.m. ET on Friday, July 23. The program has started at different times due to unpredictable pre-emptions, and before its usual 7 a.m. hour on big news days (like 6 a.m. ET on election days, for instance). But Friday July 23 was the first time, as far as we know, that Today went on the air at 11 a.m. ET.
For the first time in the franchise’s 69-year history, the Today show will not air in its usual 7-9 a.m. time period on Friday. That’s because NBC is airing the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony live on Friday, and it begins at 8 p.m. local time, which is 7 a.m. ET. As a result, Today is being pushed to 11 a.m. ET.
The 3rd Hour of Today and Today with Hoda and Jenna are being preempted on Friday for daytime Olympics coverage.
So, what can viewers expect from Friday’s broadcast? Savannah Guthrie, having just co-anchored the opening ceremony broadcast with NBC Sports’ Mike Tirico from an outdoor set overlooking Tokyo’s Rainbow Bridge, will join at the top of the special edition of Today. Hoda Kotb, Craig Melvin, Al Roker and Carson Daly will co-host the rest of the two-hour broadcast live from New York.
Additionally, Jenna Bush Hager and Sheinelle Jones will host a Rockefeller Plaza Olympics viewing party all next week, for vaccinated fans.
Beginning at 1 p.m. ET, NBC will then present its first-ever Olympic Daytime show. The live broadcast will run from 1-4 p.m. ET. The network will take a break from the Olympics and then return for its primetime presentation of the opening ceremony at 7:30 p.m.