Before dawn Thursday, in the northernmost neck of Hollywood, "Scandal" star Kerry Washington and "Parks and Recreation" regular Nick Offerman will hold spellbound for four minutes a theater full of celebrity suck-up-show hosts and ambitious young industry assistants as they announce nominees for the prime-time Emmy Awards.
You can watch at home on "Good Morning America," "Today," "CBS This Morning" and other infotainment shows too obscure to mention.
When the two actors have finished naming this year's contenders in the glam categories, the ambitious young industry assistants will grab the full list of nominees in more than 100 categories, dash out the auditorium door flapping the list - looking like Nancy Grace on a verdict-reading day - and contact their bosses on their mobile devices.
As news of the full list of nominees begins to filter through Hollywood, publicists with nominated clients will begin to issue the spontaneous reactions carefully crafted in advance. Those not nominated will fling themselves back on their beds - remember, it'll still be about 6 a.m. in Dottyville on the Pacific - and tear the pillows. Excepting, of course, "Sons of Anarchy" creator Kurt Sutter, who will, as he does every year, begin tweeting obscenities about the Television Academy, which bestows the awards, and its members.
Leading up to this most welcomed and dreaded day of the year, there are many burning questions on the minds of serious students of television:
Will any drama series be nominated that can loosen the stranglehold four-time best drama series "Mad Men" has on the hottest trophy?
Will any comedy be nominated that stands a chance of knocking two-time best comedy "Modern Family" off its throne?
Is there any reality competition series on the horizon that can keep "The Amazing Race" from winning a ninth time?