Behind the scenes of The Today Show in Beijing - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Behind the scenes of The Today Show in Beijing

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Anne Marie Tiernon (center) with The Today Show co-anchors Anne Marie Tiernon (center) with The Today Show co-anchors

Anne Marie Tiernon/Eyewitness News

Beijing - Coordinating a huge event like the Olympics is a huge effort. It also requires massive resources on the part of the media covering the competition.

The Today Show is broadcasting from a temporary set in Beijing this month. The set was first used in Athens, then in Torino. Producers, crew and engineers all support the show.

"This set has been everywhere. What happens is we package it up and we send it off somewhere and we wait two years and send it to the next place that hosts the Olympics," said Meghan, a producer.

It's a first: The whole front line Today Show crew on foreign soil with Katie Couric as the competition.

"This is my absolute best Olympics. It's also the only one I've ever been to," said Today Show host Meredith Vieria.

The show is an attraction between events. Chinese fans sense this might be something big-time.

"They're asking for an autograph and they're like, 'Who are you?'" said Ann Curry, Today Show host.

Americans arrive, anxious to send greetings back home or get a sense of home.

"They are in your living room every day and now you are just seeing them in person," said Linda McDonald.

Journalism students line the fence, hoping to be noticed. The set is outside, but air conditioning vents make the weather bearable.

"The first couple of nights even with the air conditioning it was steamy in here, but we've been lucky ever since," said Matt Lauer. "It's been overcast some days, takes the temperature down. We call it fog smog."

It's a role reversal for the NBC family - "Today" at night.

"We love hearing Brian Williams complain because he has to be in the mornings," Vieria said.

"Back in the in the States we go our separate ways at the end of the day and kind of catch up in the morning again. Actually it's not so great because now we spend all afternoon together," Lauer joked.

"Now we know why we go our separate ways," said Vieria.

It's a battle for the punch line for these stars who go to the Olympic events together here and insist their friendship is not scripted.

"You can't fake this kind of thing. These are great people. I've known Matt for over 20 years, Ann the same, I've known Meredith for a long time. It really is in every sense of the word a family - the good, the bad, there are times you drive each other crazy, but you come back together but on these kinds of trips is when you really get a chance to bond," said Al Roker.

Matt Lauer's favorite Olympic sport is swimming. Meredith Vieria likes women's gymnastics, while Al is a fan of beach volleyball and Ann just likes stories about athletes who overcome the odds.

WTHR Olympic Zone

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