Many of us who tune in for the big awards shows expect to be served an appetizer before the main event. Fox is delivering there, as the network announced today that Countdown to the Emmys will air before The 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards next month. Nancy O'Dell, Amanda Byram, and Mark Thompson have been signed on host.

Whether you tune in to see what (or "who") everyone is wearing, or to watch celebrities awkwardly answer questions about how they hope to win but are just honored to be nominated, the pre-show can be as entertaining as the main event. Although, if the Emmy's are as entertaining as I expect them to be, given that Jane Lynch is on board to host, the pre-show is going to have to be really good to top what comes next.

Set to air Sunday, Sept. 18 (7:00-8:00 PM ET live/PT 4:00-5:00 PM PT live) on FOX, Countdown to the Emmys will feature reporters Nancy O’Dell and Mark Thompson, along with TV personality Amanda Byram, as they comment on the happenings on the red carpet in the hour leading up to the Emmy’s.

The live one-hour special will capture the star-studded arrivals of Primetime Emmy® nominees, presenters and special guests. O’Dell, Thompson and Byram will set the stage for the night’s festivities as they interview the stars on the red carpet and get the inside scoop on the fashion, the nerves and the excitement.

O’Dell’s experience on Entertainment Tonight and Access Hollywood is likely to come in handy on the red carpet. Mark Thompson’s credits include Guinness World Records Primetime on Fox, and Hole in the Wall. Viewers may also recognize his voice from So You Think You Can Dance and American Idol. Finally, Amanda Byram is probably more recognizable to U.K. viewers. The Irish woman’s work across the pond includes hosting the U.K. version of Wipeout, along with Ireland AM and the U.K. version of Entertainment Tonight. In the U.S., she served as host of Paradise Hotel and The Swan. One of those, I never saw. The other, I blocked out of my memory, for the most part. Although if I clench my eyes shut really tight, I can picture lots and lots of da Vinci veneer smiles.

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