The U.S. Figure Skating Championships were held this past week in Kansas City, which meant that NBC Sports Network saw a lot of Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir on its airwaves, especially during prime time.
But the popular pair of former championship skaters turned broadcasters haven’t been in hibernation between showcase figure skating events. You don’t have to be a figure skating fan to have noticed Lipinski and Weir on the airwaves and in pop culture since the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, when the pair had their breakout and eventually emerged as NBC’s top figure skating analysts.
Since Sochi, Lipinski and Weir have done fashion commentary for Access Hollywood, and covered the Kentucky Derby and 2016 Rio Summer Olympics for NBC. Neither the pair nor the network that employs them want to keep such popular, outgoing personalities in a figure skating corner.
Lipinski and Weir already have a podcast titled Tara and Johnny that cover such topics as traveling, crash dieting, taking social media breaks, pets and skating culture. In an interview with the Associated Press, the two said they would like to take their act even further, especially beyond just audio programming.
“My dream for us is always to have a Sonny and Cher variety moment, late night, where we just enjoy ourselves and have so much fun,” Weir told the AP’s Dan Gelston.
A variety show would probably be a risky venture for a network, even a basic cable sports network. But a streaming product, like a podcast, would cater to a particular audience that are fans of Lipinski and Weir, and their commentary on several different subjects and events.
Lipinski made it sound as if such a show happening is just a matter of time, while Weir might be a bit more hopeful.
“You can’t jinx us. We’re in the works with something,” Lipinski said.
“It’s a dream. We have a lot of dreams,” Weir said.
Perhaps more interesting from a sports standpoint is that Lipinski and Weir seemed to express some interest in possibly competing in pairs skating, especially after watching 33-year-old Deanna Stellato skate in the U.S. Championships. But it sounds as if both former skaters know where their future truly lies and want to see how far it can be taken.