Times Square in New York will be closed to the public Thursday night for New Year’s Eve celebrations, the first time there won’t be a crowd at the iconic locale on December 31 since the first ball drop in 1907 (the first celebration at One Times Square in Manhattan was in 1904). But in a year in which the entertainment industry has had to adjust to a virtual stage, the show will go on and the ball will still drop at midnight.
Official Times Square New Year’s Eve co-organizers Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment will present a six-hour commercial-free webcast (closed to the public and following New York state health protocols), with Jonathan Bennett returning as host. It will include performances from Andra Day, Gloria Gaynor, the USO Show Troupe and The Waffle Crew. Other New York-based performers on the night among the various broadcast and cable networks, which are airing elements of the webcast, include Jennifer Lopez, Billy Porter, Cyndi Lauper, Jimmie Allen and Machine Gun Kelly for ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest, in its 49th year; and Anitta and Pitbull for Univision’s ¡Feliz 2021!.
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The Times Square 2021 Webcast will begin at 6 p.m. ET and end at 12:15 a.m. ET on January 1. The Countdown Entertainment/Times Square Alliance show will be streamed live at TimesSquareNYC.org, NewYearsEve.nyc, Livestream.com/2021, TimesSquareBall.net and on Facebook Live at facebook.com/timessquarenyc. Deadline is also providing the livestream here:
Here’s a rundown of tonight’s shows:
Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2021 is the 49th annual edition of the show produced by dick clark productions and ABC. Highlights this year include a Seacrest interview with President-elect Joe Biden and soon-to-be First Lady Jill Biden and a headline performance by Jennifer Lopez. Former Kinky Boots cohorts Billy Porter and Cyndi Lauper will do a duet, and Jimmie Allen and Machine Gun Kelly will also perform in the event which is closed to the public because of Covid-19 restrictions. Porter and Lucy Hale return as co-hosts in New York, while Ciara hosts the L.A. festivities that will include Saweetie, Brandy, Lewis Capaldi, Ella Mai, Maluma, Miley Cyrus, Megan Thee Stallion, Dojo Cat, Nelly, Noah Cyrus, 24KGoldn, JP Saxe and Julia Michaels. Big Freedia and performer PJ Morton will anchor the New Orleans portion of the show. The show kicks off at 8 p.m. ET/PT and runs until 2 a.m.
Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen return to co-host CNN’s New Year’s Eve Live from Times Square beginning at 8 p.m. ET, handing over duties to Brooke Baldwin and Don Lemon at 12:30 a.m. to continue the celebration as the Central Time Zone rings in the New Year. Performances and appearances include John Mayer, Snoop Dogg, Patti Labelle, Jimmy Buffett, Carole Baskin, Josh Groban, Leslie Jordan, Dulce Sloan, Desus & Mero, Kylie Minogue, Aloe Blacc, Goo Goo Dolls and Jon Bon Jovi.
Ken Jeong and Joel McHale reteam (go Greendale Human Beings!) to host Fox’s New Year’s Eve Toast & Roast live from Los Angeles. Guests include LeAnn Rimes, who just won this season of the network’s The Masked Singer on which Jeong is a judge. Also performing is Gloria Estefan and Instagramer Doctor Elvis. iHeartRadio performances from John Legend, Ava Max, Green Day and Gabby Barrett will be mixed in with performances featuring talent from upcoming Fox shows, with musical numbers from Mayim Bialik and Cheyenne Jackson of Call Me Kat and host Jane Krakowski and band leader Randy Jackson from Name That Tune. Part 1 of the Fox Alternative Entertainment-produced broadcast airs from 8-10 ET/CT live (MT/PT tape-delayed) and Part 2 from (11 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET live (CT/MT/PT tape-delayed).
NBC’s New Year’s Eve 2021 returns host Carson Daly with co-hosts Amber Ruffin and Stephen “tWitch” Boss and will feature performances from around the country by 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. The broadcast will air from 10-11 p.m. ET/PT, break for local news, then return from 11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. It is preceded by the NBC News primetime special, New Year’s Eve: Escape From 2020, hosted by Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager from 8-10 p.m.
¡Feliz 2021! will by hosted by by Raúl de Molina and Alejandra Espinoza in New York and Rafael Araneda and Angélica Vale in Miami. The three-hour program kicks off at 10 p.m. ET/PT (9 p.m. CT). Pitbull and Anitta headline from Times Square, with Greeicy, Mike Bahía, Cali y El Dandee, Camilo, Carmen DeLeon, Chesca, Joss Favela, Kany García, Matisse, Joey Montana, Natalia Jiménez, Llane, Pitizion, Chiquis Rivera, Ivy Queen, Manuel Turizo and Yennis will perform from Miami.
Snoop Dogg, taking a break from killing it as a boxing analyst during the Mike Tyson-Roy Jones Jr fight, will host a virtual celebration “Go-Big Show” Presents Snoop’s Virtual New Year’s Eve Special. Bert Kreischer, Rosario Dawson, Jennifer Nettles and Cody Rhodes will join to roast 2020 and dance into the new year with at Snoop’s Los Angeles-based The Compound. Will feature sets from DJ Cassidy, Fredwreck and DJ Battlecat along with Snoop in addition to special guests including Tyson, Martha Stewart Pharrell Williams. Runs 11 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET/8 p.m.-9:30 p.m. PT.
Hello 2021: Americas will stream live beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/ 7:30 p.m. PT on the YouTube Originals channel with Juanpa Zurita and Storm Reid hosting. Dua Lipa, J Balvin, YG, Karol G and Kane Brown will perform live, and a slew of guests participating in the stream’s slate of speeches, performances, comedic moments and dance parties include Alexandra Shipp, Bubba Wallace, Chelsea Peretti, David Blaine, Demi Lovato, Jimmy Fallon, Matthew McConaughey, Naomi Campbell, Ne-Yo, Rob Riggle, RuPaul, Shangela and Yungblud.
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