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The popular Harris is back again this year with several songs and skits. He’ll be competing Sunday against the “Mad Men” season finale, but this time no NBA postseason games.

He’ll also been tasked with trying to MC between performances from the four best musical nominees _ “Leap of Faith,” “Newsies,” “Nice Work If You Can Get It” and “Once.” To make time, most technical awards will be handed out during the commercial breaks.

The four musical revival nominees also get a turn on stage, with performances from “Evita,” “Follies,” “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.” There will even be time carved out for the cast of “Godspell” and “Ghost: The Musical” _ two shows not up for best musical Tony.

As if that wasn’t enough, look out for performances from the Tony-nominated plays “End of the Rainbow,” “One Man, Two Guvnors” and “Peter and the Starcatcher.” There also are video snippets from other plays.

Producers of the telecast are counting on some intriguing matchups to keep interest high: Which play will win from a very strong category? Will James Corden from “One Man, Two Guvnors” take the best drama leading man award from the favorite, Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Death of a Salesman”? Who will emerge with the award in the best actress in a drama race _ Nina Arianda, Tracie Bennett, Stockard Channing, Linda Lavin or Cynthia Nixon?

Harris is getting plenty of help on stage, from both veterans of Broadway and newcomers. The list of presenters includes Jessica Chastain, Nick Jonas, Tyler Perry, Amanda Seyfried, Jim Parsons, Paul Rudd, Ellen Barkin, Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters, Candice Bergen, Christopher Plummer, James Marsden, Mandy Patinkin and Sheryl Crow. Hugh Jackman will get a few moments to talk after being presented with a special Tony.

The Tony Awards show is serious business and the exposure in front of millions is priceless. Many shows that are suffering pre-summer slumps are counting on a bump from the telecast. “Godspell” producer Ken Davenport was warned that his production’s future may hinge on making a splash at the ceremony.

Overall, the health of Broadway is good, with shows yielding a record $1.14 billion in grosses this season, and total attendance reaching 12.3 million. The only concern is that audience numbers were flat, meaning higher ticket prices are pushing the overall box office take.

This season, 40 new shows opened _ 14 new musicals, 23 new plays and three specials. Many of the musicals once again relied on Hollywood, with “Once,” “Ghost The Musical,” “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever,” “Newsies” and “Leap of Faith” all originating on celluloid.

Some older works _ “Follies” and “Death of a Salesman” _ reminded a new audience why they are classics. And George and Ira Gershwin _ or at least their estates _ are clear winners, with the revival of “Porgy and Bess” and the musical “Nice Work If You Can Get It” proving Gershwin songs still soar.

But, if anything, this was the season of brilliant original plays: “Clybourne Park” by Bruce Norris, “Other Desert Cities” by Jon Robin Baitz, “Peter and the Starcatcher” by Rick Elice and David Ives’ “Venus in Fur.”

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Online: http://www.TonyAwards.com

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AP Entertainment Writer Jake Coyle and AP National Writer Jocelyn Noveck contributed to this report.