New Year’s Eve Revelry, Doc Martin Finale, Lizzo Live, Profiling Dionne Warwick
Ring out 2022 with a variety of TV celebrations. Britain’s long-running Doc Martin signs off on Acorn TV with a series finale and behind-the-scenes documentary. HBO Max presents Lizzo in concert, filmed live in California earlier this month. A documentary celebrates the pioneering career of Dionne Warwick.
Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest
SATURDAY: The longest-running and most iconic of the New Year’s Eve countdowns covers the gamut from Times Square and Disneyland to New Orleans, L.A. and Puerto Rico. The indefatigable Seacrest hosts from Times Square with YouTuber Liza Koshy and country star Jessie James Decker. Performers include Duran Duran and New Edition. Ciara hosts from Disneyland, with pre-taped performances including Shaggy and Ben Platt. Billy Porter holds court and performs a medley of his hits from New Orleans. DJ D-Nice heads the L.A. party with Wiz Kahlifa, FINNEAS, Dove Cameron and Betty Who among the scheduled talent. Roselyn Sanchez weighs in from Puerto Rico, the first to announce 2023 at 11 pm/ET, with Puerto Rican rapper Farruko performing a medley to welcome the new year.
SATURDAY: Over 10 seasons during a nearly 20-year run, Martin Clunes and the residents of the town of Portwenn have charmed fans with the chronicles of the grumpy yet lovable blood-averse doc in Cornwall. As if to remind us that all good things come to an end, the series finale has a Christmas theme, with Martin informing Leonard (Ron Cook) the local Santa that he needs to put his ho-ho-ho’s on pause while awaiting medical tests. Also streaming: a Farewell Doc Martin retrospective, going behind the scenes of the bittersweet filming of the final season.
Lizzo: Live in Concert
SATURDAY: You don’t have to wait for a ball drop to enjoy the irrepressible all-purpose singer-songwriter, rapper and flutist—and Saturday Night Live favorite—performing in a concert special filmed last month during her The Special Tour at the Kia Forum in Inglewood, CA. Joining her and her band The Lizzbians and The Little Bigs, The Big Grrrls are Cardi B, SZA and Missy Elliott.
Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over
SUNDAY: At 82, still relevant enough to make waves on Twitter (and to be parodied on Saturday Night Live), the pioneering crossover singer reflects on her six-decade career and passion for advocacy—for civil rights and AIDS research—in an admiring and illuminating bio-documentary. Her ability, back in the 1960s, to move from the R&B to pop charts with those Bacharach-David classics (“I Say a Little Prayer,” “Do You Know the Way to San Jose”) gave her a platform to promote social change and to open the door for a generation of Black artists, including her cousin Whitney Houston. “That’s the beauty of music: It transcends color,” she declares. Fellow music icon Smokey Robinson nails it when he describes Warwick as “the picture of elegance.”
SUNDAY: It’s not such a happy new year for fans of the blockbuster contemporary Western, which takes a midseason break with Jamie (Wes Bentley) going public in his crusade to declare war on his adoptive dad, Governor John Dutton (Kevin Costner), with talk of impeachment. Not that the Gov is all that enamored with the office, and besides, he’s busy sending his cowboys off to points south.
Paul T. Goldman
SUNDAY: Is this guy for real? I’ve seen all but one episode of this bizarre hybrid of reality show and making-of-a-movie chronicle, and I still don’t know. (Or know if I care.) Director Jason Woliner (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm) spent a decade filming Paul, who wrote a book and a screenplay in which he alleges he’s a wronged husband who stumbled across an international crime ring. He insists on playing himself in the movie version, alongside actual actors. You may laugh at this spectacle, and you’ll almost certainly cringe, at this forlorn guy who fancies himself the hero of his own story.
Other New Year’s Eve options:
- New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash (8/7c, CBS): Jimmie Allen and Elle King host with Entertainment Tonight’s Rachel Smith for a five-hour country-music hoedown from Music City. Among those joining the hosts as headliners: Kelsea Ballerini, Brooks & Dunn, Little Big Town, Zac Brown Band, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Sheryl Crow, Thomas Rhett, Darius Rucker, Lainey Wilson and many more.
- New Year’s Eve Live (8/7c, CNN): Once again, Anderson Cooper co-hosts and cuts up with Mr. Bravo, Andy Cohen, from Times Square, with Don Lemon picking up coverage from New Orleans to ring in the new year in Central Time. Jean Smart, Cheri Oteri and pop star Ava Max join the guys in New York, while Usher and Kevin Hart appear from Las Vegas and celebs including Ellie Goulding, Patti LaBelle, REO Speedwagon, Nick Cannon, John Stamos and Tenacious D’s Jack Black and Kyle Gass join in the fun.
- United in Song 2022: Ringing in the New Year Together (8/7c, PBS): Renée Fleming (from Washington, D.C.) and Chris Jackson (from New York) co-host an eclectic night of song from theaters across the USA, featuring the American Pops Orchestra and genres from Broadway and opera to folk, bluegrass and country.
- Miley’s New Year’s Eve Party (10:30/9:30c, NBC): Miley Cyrus teams with her legendary godmother Dolly Parton for a musical party from Miami, with guests including rapper Latto, rock band Lilly, hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd and Sia and singer-songwriter FLETCHER. For laughs, Saturday Night Live’s Chloe Fineman, Sarah Sherman and comedy trio Please Don’t Destroy drop by.
Inside Weekend TV:
- A Toast to 2022! (Saturday, 8/7c, NBC): Today’s Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager raise a glass to the most memorable happenings of the past year, joined by NBC and NBC News personalities and guests including Samantha Bee, Mario Cantone, Wendell Pierce, Colin Quinn and Martha Stewart.
- The Twilight Zone (Saturday, starts at 5 am/4c, Syfy; noon/11c, Decades): Rod Serling’s classic 1959-64 anthology provides a great escape at any hour, with marathons extending through Tuesday at 4 am/3c on Syfy and through Monday at 6 am/5c on Decades.
- Nate Bargatze: Hello World (Saturday, streaming on Prime Video): Need a laugh? Billed “the nicest man in stand-up” by The Atlantic, Bargatze debuts his first Amazon Original comedy special in a set recorded at the Celebrity Theater in Phoenix.
- Best of Stand Up 2022 (Saturday, streaming on Netflix): The streamer compiles some of the best gags from its many stand-up showcases of 2022.
- Live to Lead (Saturday, streaming on Netflix): Fresh off their tell-all docuseries, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (aka Harry and Meghan) are executive producers of a seven-part docuseries in association with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, featuring messages of courage and hope. Among the participants: the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, climate-change activist Greta Thunberg, feminist pioneer Gloria Steinem and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
- The First (Sunday, starts at noon/11c, MeTV): See how it all began in a marathon of first episodes from a classic comedy lineup, starting with The Honeymooners and ending at 4:30 pm/3:30c with the M*A*S*H pilot.
- 60 Minutes (Sunday, 7:30/6:30c, 7 pm/PT, CBS): The first segments of 2023 include Bill Whitaker’s visit to Radio Free Europe in Prague, Scott Pelley’s alarming report on mass extinction and Lesley Stahl on treating obesity.
- Worst Cooks in America: Viral Sensations (Sunday, 8/7c, Food Network) and Ugliest House in America (Sunday, 8/7c, HGTV, airing through Friday): Sense a theme?
- The Simpsons (Sunday, 8/7c, Fox): A YouTube parody depicts the rise and fall of the Simpson Family Vlog.
- From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration 2023 (Sunday, 8/7c, PBS): A classic way to welcome the new year, with Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville hosting the annual Great Performances concert, heavy on waltzes and polkas, from the Golden Hall of the Musikverein. The Cleveland Orchestra’s Franz Weiser-Möst conducts.
- Kaleidoscope (Sunday, streaming on Netflix): An exercise in non-linear narrative tells the story of a heist over 24 years, with episodes available to watch in any order—except for the finale, “White: The Heist.”