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If you were hoping to sip on a glass of bubbly while watching a tipsy Don Lemon throw back shots on CNN's 2022-2023 New Year's Eve special, you may have been a bit disappointed. Here's why.
Apparently, CNN's iconic booze-filled New Year's Eve broadcasts hasn't left a stellar impression on Chris Licht, the company's new chairman and CEO as of May. Variety reported in November that staffers at the news network met with Chris in a company town hall to review the New Year's Eve program. Per the report, Chris expressed his desire to move away from much of the on-air partying, worrying that showing CNN personnel drinking on camera might "erode credibility" and damage their "respectability." As a result, some of CNN's correspondents and anchors who have imbibed in the past have been told to abstain during this year's celebration.
That said, it's hard to tell if this new policy affects Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper hilarious personalities, the main co-hosts of the NYE program during primetime hours.
Andy clarified to Rolling Stone that CNN correspondents would not be drinking. "Anderson and I will be the people partying on CNN [though] we will be partying responsibly."
He also later added: "If the correspondents are not drinking this year, I will be partying even harder on their behalf."
But when speaking with Page Six, Andy confirmed that neither he nor Anderson would be drinking during the broadcast. "But we're going to have a BLAST," he also told the outlet.
This all comes over a month after Andy made it a point to call out the original Variety report on his Bravo show Watch What Happens Live. At the time, Andy seemed particularly defiant about the idea of sobering up CNN's broadcast.
“I just want you to know that Anderson and I are going to party harder than we have ever partied before on New Year’s Eve!” the Bravo star loudly remarked after playing a clip of himself yelling "sayonara, sucka!" from his on-air rant about then-New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio last year.
As folks can recall, Andy went viral last New Year's Eve after passionately (and perhaps drunkenly) slamming the outgoing mayor minutes after the ball dropped in Times Square. Despite Anderson's best efforts to calm him down, Andy refused to hold back his feelings.
“[I’ve been] watching Mayor de Blasio do his ‘victory lap’ dance after four years of the crappiest job as the mayor of New York,” Andy said during last year’s show. “The only thing that the Democrats and the Republicans can agree on is what a horrible mayor he has been, so sayonara, sucka!”
Afterward, Andy confirmed on Howard Stern’s SiriusXM show that he was "over-served." At the same time though, he made it clear that he would "not be shamed for having fun on New Year's Eve."
Of course, Andy isn't the only CNN talent who has made headlines for his boozy antics during the news network's January 1 show. After downing a shot, Don raised some eyebrows when he got his ear pierced during the 2016 broadcast while reporting live from a bar in New Orleans.
Not surprisingly, opinions vary when it comes to CNN's decision for its 2022-2023 NYE program. Ryan Seacrest, who hosts Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest broadcast on ABC from Times Square, told Entertainment Weekly that he actually agrees with the network's new policy.
"I don't advocate drinking when one is on the air," Ryan explained to the outlet. "I don't know how that started as a tradition, but it's probably a good idea [to scale back], CNN." During the same interview, Ryan also joked that he would send some Casa Dragones tequila over to the CNN anchors "just to tempt them."
All in all, the CNN show was much tamer than in years past, even though some folks might not be too happy about that. We'll just have to see if these new changes will affect the show's ratings at all. Drama, drama, drama!
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