The annual NBC New Year’s Eve celebration has two parts — the first is a look back at the previous year and the second is a live celebration from Times Square in New York. Here’s what you need to know about the hosts and performers for the 2020-2021 special.
The first part of NBC’s New Year’s Eve celebration is the New Year’s Eve: Escape From 2020 retrospective hosted by Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager of The Today Show.
According to NBC’s press release, the two hosts will highlight 2020’s “most entertaining and talked about videos and trends, as well as the year’s most extraordinary and inspirational moments.” It airs from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET/PT.
The second part of the New Year’s Eve festivities on NBC are hosted by Carson Daly, Amber Ruffin, and Stephen “tWitch” Boss.
“Nothing will make me happier than to have a front-row seat to watch 2020 disappear and usher in the hope for brighter days in 2021,” Daly said in a statement. “I’m excited to be with Amber and tWitch live in Times Square to broadcast the iconic ball drop to millions of viewers on TV, but will miss the revelers who can’t attend live. Our diverse music lineup offers something for everyone in your family. See you on NBC!”
“We’re looking forward to bringing in 2021 with a highly entertaining show that will feature great music and terrific rapport between Carson, Amber and tWitch in Times Square,” said Doug Vaughan, Executive Vice President, Special Programs, NBC Entertainment. “We’ll be providing top-quality entertainment we know everyone will enjoy from the comfort of their homes.”
The special hosted by Kotb and Bush Hager will feature interviews with Lauren Ash, Skylar Astin, Andrea Canning, Carson Daly, Dylan Dreyer, Akbar Gbaja-Biamila, Kelly Clarkson, Willie Geist, Brad Goreski, Savannah Guthrie, Lester Holt, Matt Iseman, Sheinelle Jones, Carson Kressley, Preacher Lawson, John Legend, Jane Levy, Loni Love, Howie Mandel, Josh Mankiewicz, Chris Mann, Craig Melvin, Natalie Morales, Keith Morrison, Dennis Murphy, Alex Newell, Al Roker, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, Chris Sullivan, Johnny Weir and more.
The Times Square live special will feature performances from across the country by artists AJR, Busta Rhymes featuring Anderson .Paak, Chloe x Halle, CNCO, Jason Derulo, Goo Goo Dolls, Kylie Minogue, Pentatonix, Bebe Rexha featuring Doja Cat, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, and Sting featuring Shirazee.
This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no public access to the New Year’s Eve countdown and ball drop in Times Square. The Today Show recently did an article about how to host a safe and fun celebration at home, including a DIY spa night, a movie night, how to do your own fondue dinner, and more.
Virtual celebrations are being staged all over the world, though some countries are still forging ahead with their fireworks displays, most notably Sydney, Australia. 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. One of the last places to celebrate the New Year is the United States’ Baker Island, which is just east of the International Date Line. But in a fun bit of trivia, because of the way the International Date Line zigzags around a bit, Kiritimati is actually east of Baker Island.