NBC is back for the 2019-2020 with its live New Year’s Eve coverage in Times Square. The special runs from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET/PT, then breaks for local news and returns for the final countdown from 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. ET/PT.
Today correspondent Carson Daly will return as the host, joined by Julianne Hough as co-host this year. Stephen “tWitch” Boss, the DJ on The Ellen DeGeneres Show will also be a correspondent.
Performers include Hough, X Ambassadors, Brett Eldredge, Ne-Yo, Leslie Odom Jr., Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani and The Struts, plus a special live performance from Keith Urban at the Jack Daniel’s Music City Midnight: New Year’s Eve in Nashville event.
Prior to the live festivities in Times Square, Today hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager will host a primetime New Year’s Eve special called A Toast to 2019!, which will air from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET/PT. That special will look back at the year’s biggest pop culture moments and trends and will welcome celebrity guests Kristin Bell, Tony Hale, Maya Rudolph, and Martin Short to highlight the year’s biggest stories.
A Toast to 2019! will also feature taped interviews from Lauren Ash, Andrea Canning, Chris D’Elia, Dylan Dreyer, Ryan Eggold, Ben Feldman, Akbar Gbajabiamila, Willie Geist, Brad Goreski, Lester Holt, Matt Iseman, Sheinelle Jones, Carson Kressley, Loni Love, Howie Mandel, Josh Mankiewicz, Craig Melvin, Natalie Morales, Brent Morin, Keith Morrison, Dennis Murphy, Patton Oswalt, Al Roker, Ashley Tisdale, Johnny Weir, and many more.
New Year’s Eve marks the end of a calendar year on the Gregorian calendar, the calendar first introduced in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom it is named. Most countries celebrate the final day the year with parties, social gatherings, festivals, and/or fireworks. It goes by many names the world over, including Hogmanay in Scotland, Calennig in Wales, Baharu in Indonesia and Malaysia, Silvester in many European countries, Reveillon in France, Portugal, and Brazil, Kanun Novodgo Goda in Russia, and Omisoka in Japan.
Kiritimati, Tonga, and New Zealand are some of the first places to celebrate New Year’s Eve because they are located just west of the International Date Line, while the U.S.’ Baker Island is one of the last places to celebrate because it is just east of the International Date Line. Interestingly, because of the way the International Date Line jogs around a bit, Kiritimati is actually east of Baker Island.
In the United States, New Year’s is traditionally celebrated with parties and “drops,” the most famous of which is the ball drop held in New York City’s Times Square. But there are dozens of other “drops” held across the country, including a conch drop in Key West, Florida; a peach drop in Atlanta; an Indy car drop in Indianapolis; an acorn drop in Raleigh, North Carolina; a moon pie drop in Mobile, Alabama; a fleur-de-lis drop in New Orleans, a “Glowtato” drop in Boise, Idaho; and a tortilla chip drop in Tempe, Arizona, which is tied in to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl game of college football.
New York also rings in the new year with a “Midnight Run” around Central Park that includes a fireworks show. Other fireworks displays around the country include shows at the Disney theme parks, the Las Vegas strip, and the Chicago “Chi-Town Rising” event.