There are a myriad of offerings on TV to ring in the new year as we say goodbye to 2020 and usher in 2021. Here is a guide to all the different network celebrations, plus a few things to watch if you aren’t interested in New Year’s Eve festivities.
ABC’s Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve
This celebration airs its first part from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET/PT on ABC before taking a break for local news and resuming with part 2 at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT. It airs until 1 a.m. ET/PT and will feature performances by Jennifer Lopez, Billy Porter, Cyndi Lauper, and Jimmie Allen. Porter and Lauper will also reunite on the NYRE stage for a duet performance; they previously appeared together in the Broadway musical Kinky Boots.
FOX’s New Year’s Eve Toast & Roast
FOX’s celebration is hosted by Joel McHale and Ken Jeong and features the year’s top musical artists and surprise celebrity guests celebrating in Los Angeles. It airs from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET/PT on FOX, then breaks for local news for an hour and resumes broadcasting at 11 p.m. ET/PT. That runs until 12:30 a.m. ET/PT.
“Ken and Joel together are one of the funniest duos out there,” said Rob Wade, President, Alternative Entertainment & Specials, FOX Entertainment, in a statement when he announced the new hosts. “These two have been toasting and roasting each other on national television for years, so they were the perfect pair to ring in the New Year.”
NBC’s New Year’s Eve: Escape From 2020
This special is a pre-recorded two-hour look back at 2020 hosted by Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager. After a break for local news, it resumes with a live special hosted by Carson Daly in Times Square that runs from 11:30 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. ET/PT. This year Daly will be joined by co-hosts 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!”
CNN’s New Year’s Eve Live with Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen
This is the one that doesn’t break for local news. Best buds Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen are hosting this annual celebration from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. New Year’s Day on CNN. It boasts appearances and performances by John Mayer, Snoop Dogg, Patti Labelle, Jimmy Buffett, Carole Baskin, Josh Groban, the Goo Goo Dolls and Jon Bon Jovi.
Then from 12:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m., Don Lemon and Brooke Baldwin take over hosting duties.
Other TV Offerings
If you’d rather watch football on New Year’s Eve, the Mercari Texas Bowl is airing from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, which features a matchup between Arkansas and TCU.
PBS is airing United in Song: Celebrating the Resilience of America from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., which features performances by the American Pops Orchestra conducted by Luke Frazier and the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Joann Falletta.