The National Board of Review has weighed in and announced its vote on the year’s best picture will be announced December 5. This follows the New York Film Critics Circle declaration this week that its vote will be taken December 3. This puts the groups in the tight proximity that existed (NBR is usually first) before the NYFCC last year moved their vote to November 29 to be first, which meant the voting critics couldn’t factor Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close into the mix. Here’s the NBR’s announcement:

New York, NY (October 18, 2012) – The National Board of Review announced today that Meredith Vieira will return to host the annual National Board of Review Awards Gala, taking place on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. This year, the NBR will announce their award winners on Wednesday, December 5, 2012.

“We are thrilled to have someone of Meredith’s caliber returning to host our Awards Gala for a third time,” said Annie Schulhof, NBR President. “She was a tremendous addition as host of our 2010 and 2011 Galas and we look forward to working with her again this year.”

Vieira, a special correspondent for NBC News and NBC’s “Rock Center with Brian Williams” who has won a total of 14 Emmy Awards, follows in the footsteps of previous Gala hosts including Natalie Morales, Whoopi Goldberg, Paul Reiser and Jesse L. Martin.

“It’s a true honor to be reteaming with my friends at the NBR for their special night,” said Vieira. “I look forward to working with Annie and the organization in the coming months to put together a fantastic evening in honor of the best films of the year.”

Over 250 films (studio, independent, foreign-language, animated, and documentary) are viewed throughout the year by a select group of knowledgeable film enthusiasts, filmmakers, professionals, academics and students. The National Board of Review is committed to supporting both up-and-coming filmmakers and mission-driven organizations that promote the transformative power of visual storytelling. In 2012 they awarded grants to 31 outstanding student films, and contributed to The Children’s Aid Society, Reel Works Teen Filmmaking, Educational Video Center, and The Ghetto Film School.