Brian Williams

NBC Photo / Virginia Sherwood

Brian Williams is reporting for a solemn duty.

The NBC Nightly News anchor will be filling in for the late Tim Russert as the host of this Sunday's Meet the Press, a network rep confirms.

"Brian will be hosting this weekend," NBC News spokeswoman Jenny Tartikoff tells E! News, adding that no permanent replacement has been named either as host of Meet the Press or as chief of the news division's D.C. bureau.

Sunday's guests will be Sens. Lindsay Graham and Joe Biden, who were scheduled to appear last weekend but were preempted after Russert suffered a fatal heart attack Friday.

Last weekend, anchor emeritus Tom Brokaw substituted for Russert and led a special tribute that included longtime Meet the Press cohorts James Carville, Doris Kearns Goodwin and Mary Matlin. Russert's chair was left empty.

Russert served for 16 years as the moderator of Meet the Press, the longest-running program in TV history and one of NBC's most profitable, generating some $60 million in ad revenue. He was also the longest-serving host of the morning show, known for asking tough questions of politicians and journalists alike on the issues of the day.

Among those mentioned as possible candidates for the hosting gig: NBC News reporters David Gregory and Andrea Mitchell, MSNBC Hardball emcee Chris Matthews, and possibly even Williams, though that seems unlikely given his current responsibilities.

Brokaw could be a sentimental, if temporary, choice. The veteran newsman made light about such talk at yesterday's memorial service for Russert in Washington, joking that many of the politicos and newspeople in the audience were hoping he'd get the nod.

No word yet on who may head up the Washington news bureau.

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