Eight is the luckiest number in China, so, of course the Beijing Olympics open next week on 8-8-’08 (8:18 p.m. to be precise). Even if you’re not excited about the Games (35 sports), you may want to tune into the big opening. NBC is promising that China is planning to stage the most spectacular opening ceremony ever seen, featuring 15,000 performers and directed by Zhang Yimou (“House of Flying Daggers,” “Hero”).

“Even if they pull off 75% of their plans, it will truly be over the top and it should be something that anybody who sees it will never forget,” said David Neal, executive producer, NBC Sports.