The Olympic rings (Jae Hong / Associated Press )
The opening ceremony for the 2012 London Olympics will take place Friday evening in London, but viewers in the U.S. will have to wait to watch them on NBC.
The opening ceremony, directed by Oscar-winner Danny Boyle and featuring an expected 15,000 performers, will air at 7:30 p.m. Pacific and Eastern time in the U.S. And expect the fun to go until midnight.
Queen Elizabeth II will officially open the Games at London's Olympic Stadium, followed by the top secret opening ceremony, which will feature a live performance by Paul McCartney.
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The theme of the ceremony is Isles of Wonder and draws much of its inspiration from Shakespeare's "The Tempest." According to the official Olympics website, it will kick off with the sound of the largest harmonically tuned bell in Europe. And the stadium will be transformed into a British countryside, featuring real animals. Here's hoping Sir Paul watches where he steps.
A report from the Associated Press revealed that Boyle is planning to incorporate images and characters from British culture, including Alice in Wonderland, James Bond and Harry Potter.
The ceremony will also include the Parade of Nations, featuring the 10,000 athletes from 204 countries.
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The NBC broadcast will be hosted by Bob Costas alongside Matt Lauer and Meredith Viera. Ryan Seacrest and Tom Brokaw will contribute interviews and reports.
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