TV highlights: Networks compete for most entertaining New Year’s show


"DICK CLARK'S PRIMETIME NEW YEAR'S ROCKIN' EVE WITH RYAN SEACREST" - Ryan Seacrest, Jenny McCarthy and Fergie spotlight some of the year's hottest artists, groups and songs. (Bob D'Amico/ABC)
December 30, 2013

Final-hour “Today Show” hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb inject their brand of insane fun into “A Toast to 2013!” (NBC at 8 p.m.), a look back on the year’s biggest stories, stars and scandals. Interviewees include Jane Lynch, Pharrell Williams, Padma Lakshmi and Matt Lauer.

Preceding the highly predictable New Year’s kick-off fare, ABC brings us “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve Presents the 30 Greatest Women in Music” (8) to highlight the year’s most prolific female musical artists. Hosts Ryan Seacrest, Jenny McCarthy and Fergie will introduce clips and interviews from the archives of Dick Clark Productions.

If you maybe want to not envelop yourself in the sad, wet blanket that is New Year’s, WMPT is airing “New York Philharmonic Gala With Yo-Yo Ma” (8) as a “Live From Lincoln Center” special. Recorded on Sept. 25, the telecast has the cellist alongside Ravel’s “Alborada del gracioso” and Osvaldo Golijov’s “Azul.”

Hosted by Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Bill Hemmer, “All-American New Year” (Fox News Channel at 9) will ring in 2014 live from Times Square as the hosts look back on the year, and the network’s Griff Jenkins provides an inside look at the celebrations taking place across New York City.

If you’re looking for more than 200 minutes of venom-laced repartee, tune into “New Year’s Eve With Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin” (CNN at 9). Back for their seventh consecutive year as co-hosts, watch as Griffin tries to embarrass Cooper into a nervous bout of girlish giggles because sometimes that’s just what America needs.

Now for the night’s mainstay, “Dick Clark’s Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2014” (ABC at 10) brings us performances from Jennifer Hudson, Miley Cyrus, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Icona Pop, Robin Thicke and more. Hosted by Seacrest and McCarthy in New York with Fergie in Los Angeles, the show is interrupted at 11 for a half-hour of local news, but at 11:30 it’s back for the countdown and after the ball drops, expect a mighty performance from Billy Joel, performing at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, to serenade the country into 2014.

“New Year’s Eve With Carson Daly” (NBC at 10) has Daly and “Glee” star Jane Lynch doing their best to one-up Seacrest with performances from Mariah Carey, Blake Shelton and more. Their schedule is interrupted at 11 for local news as well, but they come back for the countdown, sadly without a Billy Joel performance.

From the Las Vegas strip, Mario Lopez hosts the short and sweet “New Year’s Eve Live” (FOX at 11) that features more modern performances by J. Cole, New Politics, Krewella and Panic! At the Disco.

Rachel Lubitz

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