What’s Worth Watching: New Year’s Eve with Ryan Seacrest, Pitbull, Carson Daly and Kathy Griffin for Thursday, December 31
Wherever you may be when 2016 arrives, be it a living room or a bar (or in my case, a small Greenwich Village club listening to music), it’s inevitable that a screen somewhere nearby will be showing the ball dropping in Times Square with some celebrity or other in attendance. Herewith, some options:
Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2016 (ABC, starts at 8/7c): The most traditional of the night’s many big shows boasts the biggest stars, including Carrie Underwood reliving American Idol memories with host Seacrest (marking his 10th year) in New York’s Times Square, headlining with the likes of Luke Bryan, Demi Lovato and, singing “Margaritaville” from Brooklyn, Jimmy Buffett. Fergie hosts the Billboard Hollywood Party on the opposite coast with performers including One Direction, 5 Seconds of Summer, Fall Out Boy, Andy Grammer and Ellie Goulding.
Pitbull’s New Year’s Revolution (Fox, starts at 8/7c): Big surprise that Fox’s bash from Miami’s Bayfront Park takes on a decidedly Empire vibe with performances from Jussie Smollett and Yazz (with Timbaland). Terry Crews and Wendy Williams co-host with Mr. Worldwide, as Shawn Mendes and Earth, Wind & Fire join the party.
New Year’s Eve With Carson Daly (NBC, 11:30/10:30c): More synergy, this time of the Voice variety, as Daly welcomes Voice judge Gwen Stefani to perform her new single “Used to Love You.” In prime time, NBC presents A Toast to 2015! (8/7c) with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb getting the wine flowing early, followed by NBC’s New Year’s Eve Game Night With Andy Cohen (10/9c), in which the Bravo host adapts Hollywood Game Night-style party games with a New Year’s theme. Playing along: John Stamos and Bob Saget in a Full House reunion, plus Bob Harper moonlighting from The Biggest Loser, and comedians Chris Parnell, Whitney Cummings, JB Smoove, Rob Riggle and Sasheer Zamata.
New Year’s Eve Live (CNN, 9/8c): Or you could get your jollies with the annual spectacle of the outrageous Kathy Griffin tormenting the network censors while trying to make co-host Anderson Cooper blush.
D’oh Lang Syne: Don’t really care what time it is? It’s easy to get lost in any number of marathons on cable—including a 30-hour celebration of The Simpsons on FXX, starting with The Simpsons Movie at 6/5c and continuing with “resolution-themed” episodes at 8/7c. Springfield, here we come!