The various countdown-to-midnight celebration shows on New Year’s Eve come and they go, but New Year’s Rockin’ Eve is in it for the long haul.
The tradition began 45 years ago when the late Dick Clark turned coverage of the ball drop from Times Square in New York City into a national TV tradition.
Other networks — NBC, Fox and CNN — have special programming plans for the big night as well, but ABC once again is king with 5 1/2 hours of coverage from New York, New Orleans, Las Vegas and Los Angeles and live musical performances featuring many of the biggest names in the business.
Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2017 begins at 7 p.m. Saturday.
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The only interruption will be a local WFAA/Channel 8 newscast at 10 p.m. Then it’s back to 2 1/2 more hours of blowout festivities and music.
I normally make a resolution every year. But like everybody else, I usually forget about it within five days of the new year. This year I’m going to go on a digital diet and try not to use my phone for, I want to say, one day a week, but at least for a few hours one day a week.
In past years, WFAA offered a local fireworks and music show originating from Victory Park in Dallas and KTVT/Channel 11 countered with a show coming from Sundance Square in Fort Worth. Alas, neither is on the schedule this year.
Clark, a TV and music industry legend, died in 2012. But Seacrest, whom Clark selected in 2005 to be his successor, has kept the tradition going.
It’s a gig that Seacrest has no intention of quitting.
“The best part about hosting New Year’s Rockin’ Eve is we bring the party into everybody’s home,” he says. “No matter where they are, they can experience what’s happening with the ball drop in Times Square.
“The fact that there are a million people out there, that it’s live and that we start a new year makes for a magical night.”
The lineup of Times Square musical performers include Mariah Carey, DNCE, Thomas Rhett and Gloria Estefan with the cast of her Broadway musical On Your Feet!
Demi Lovato will make the first international appearance on the show from the Caribbean via a special performance from her Celebrity Cruises concert in St. Maarten.
Fergie will host and perform at the Billboard Hollywood Party, with additional performances by Alessia Cara, Fifth Harmony featuring Kid Ink and Ty Dolla $ign, Flo Rida featuring Macy Kate, G-Eazy featuring Bebe Rexha, John Legend and Hailee Steinfeld.
My New Year’s resolution usually has to do with exercising or eating well. It will last for a little while and then it fades. And then the next year it will give me the motivation again. I’m probably like a lot of people in that way.
Elsewhere, Lionel Richie will kick off the New Year from his concert in Las Vegas and Lucy Hale will host the first-ever Central Time Zone countdown live from New Orleans with performances by Jason Derulo and Panic! at the Disco.
“It’s almost easier to say who’s not performing, because we have such a long list of people who are performing this year,” Seacrest says. “If you were hot in 2016, then you’re on this show.”
Here are some additional New Year’s Eve TV highlights:
- New Year’s Eve With Carson Daly (10:30 p.m. on KXAS/Channel 5): NBC’s one-hour Times Square broadcast includes musical performances from Alicia Keys, Pentatonix, Blake Shelton and Jennifer Lopez from her Las Vegas show. It’s Daly’s 14th year on the network serving as host.
- Also, at 11:30, Channel 5 carries Chi-Town Rising, which rings in the new year from Chicago.
- Pitbull’s New Year’s Revolution (11 p.m. on KDFW/Channel 4): Mr. Worldwide will bring Fox’s live broadcast to his home city of Miami for the third year in a 90-minute show that goes old school. The lineup of 1990s hip-hop and rap artists includes Biz Markie, Coolio, Naughty By Nature, Rob Base, Salt-N-Pepa, Tone Loc and Young MC. Queen Latifah and Snoop Dogg also host from Miami’s Bayline Park.
- New Year’s Eve Live With Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin (7 p.m. on CNN): Marathon coverage from New York and other cities with this colorfully mismatched duo will be followed at 11:30 for a different New Year’s Eve Live show hosted by Don Lemon and Brooke Baldwin.
- Late Night With Seth Meyers New Year’s Eve Special (9 p.m. on NBC): Meyers goes prime time with a one-hour program featuring interview and comedy appearances by Jennifer Lawrence, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Leslie Jones and a musical performance by Kelly Clarkson.