Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest

Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest
Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest
Dickclarke big.jpg
December 2006 photograph of Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest
Also known as

Main show
Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve
Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve 2009 with Ryan Seacrest[1]
Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 20##

Primetime show

Dick Clark's Primetime New Year's Rockin' Eve (with Ryan Seacrest) (2000-present)
New Year's Rockin' Eve Primetime (2010-present)
Format New Year's television special
Created by Dick Clark
Presented by Dick Clark
Ryan Seacrest
Country of origin  United States
No. of episodes 38 (as of 12/31/10)

Times Square, Manhattan, New York
Los Angeles, California (December 31, 1972-December 31, 1998; December 31, 2000-December 31, 2008; December 31, 2010-)

Las Vegas (December 31, 2009)
Running time
(Primetime, 10:00–11:00 p.m.) 60 minutes
(Part One, 11:35 p.m.–1:05 a.m.) 90 minutes
(Part Two, 1:05–2:05 a.m.) 60 minutes
Production company(s) Dick Clark Productions
Original channel NBC (December 31, 1972–December 31, 1973)
ABC (December 31, 1974–December 31, 1998; December 31, 2000–present)
Original airing December 31, 1972 - present

Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest (formerly Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve) is a television program that airs every New Year's Eve on ABC. It has been hosted by Dick Clark since its first airing on Sunday, December 31, 1972. Ryan Seacrest has been the program's co-host since the December 31, 2005 telecast. The show features performances from various contemporary artists, as well as coverage of the dropping of the Times Square Ball in New York City's Times Square. The program airs live in the Eastern Time Zone, and then on tape delay in the other areas of the United States so that the show is correlated to when midnight strikes in the other respective time zones.

Since December 31, 2000, a pre-show of New Year's Rockin' Eve has aired in primetime, featuring additional musical performances and live updates from Times Square.



The program has typically consisted of live coverage of New Year's Eve festivities in Times Square (including its long-running ball drop), along with live musical performances on location by popular artists (which are exclusive to the broadcast). Since 2005, Ryan Seacrest has hosted the live show outside in Times Square itself (along with a celebrity correspondent providing additional reports from the crowds), while Dick Clark co-hosts and makes appearances from the Times Square Studios.

Since the 2000/2001 edition, coverage has began with New Year's Rockin' Eve Primetime, an hour-long pre-show aired at 10:00 PM ET containing additional performances and reports. Following the Primetime show, coverage continues at 11:35 PM ET/PT after local programming (such as late local newscasts) from ABC's affiliates. To allow the new year's countdown to correspond with the local station's time zone, the second half is usually Tape delayed by either local affiliates (especially in the Central and Mountain time zones) or by ABC's west coast feed so that the show continues at 11:35 PM local time. When the Ball Drop occurs at 11:59 PM (which has traditionally been accompanied by Dick Clark welcoming the new year), some stations may also air split screen coverage of a local new year's event (such as the Buffalo Ball Drop or Atlanta's Peach Drop). Following the Ball Drop, coverage shifts to concert segments recorded on the West Coast in Hollywood (except in the 2009/2010 edition, which was held at America's Party in Las Vegas, Nevada). Since the 2006/2007 edition, these concert segments have been hosted by Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson of The Black Eyed Peas.

While New Year's Rockin' Eve has aired every year on ABC since 1974, the show was handled differently in 2000 due to ABC News' day-long special, ABC 2000 Today. While Rockin' Eve was not aired, Dick Clark still played his traditional role alongside ABC News correspondents for its coverage from Times Square of celebrations in the Eastern time zone.

In terms of years on air, Clark's string of being the permanent host of the series, 38 years, is the second-longest of any host of an American entertainment television program, behind only Jerry Lewis, who has hosted his eponymous telethon from 1966 through 2010. Both Lewis and Clark are ahead of Don McNeill and Bob Barker, both of whom lasted 35 years. (Though Don Francisco has spent 49 years as host of Sábado Gigante, that show has only been based in the United States for 25 of those years.) However, Barker and McNeill hosted daily programs, not annual shows as Lewis and Clark have.


Before Rockin' Eve

Before Dick Clark, the best-known New Year's Eve shows on radio and then television were hosted by bandleader Guy Lombardo, who hosted 21 consecutive New Year's Eve shows from 1956 to 1976 on CBS, and for a time in syndication. Lombardo's first radio broadcast on New Year's Eve was heard on December 31, 1928 over CBS Radio, and for a time he even split hosting duties by broadcasting on CBS Radio before midnight EST and on NBC Radio after midnight. Lombardo would host 48 straight New Year's Eve broadcasts until his death in 1977, and famously performed "Auld Lang Syne" by his Royal Canadians as the clock struck midnight, ushering in the start of a New Year.[2][3]

Once the Lombardo orchestra began their annual television shows, there would be a live segment from Times Square, which was (and still is) the focal point of the nation's largest New Year's celebration. In the early years of Lombardo's television specials, pioneer broadcast journalist Robert Trout reported on and counted down to Midnight in New York's Times Square; but for most of Lombardo's years on television, another legendary newsman, Ben Grauer, had the honor.

The first New Year's Eve special on television was broadcast on December 31, 1941 on WNBT New York, and consisted of entertainment broadcast from the Rainbow Room, atop the RCA Building in New York's Rockefeller Center.[4]

Due to World War II, there would be no more New Year's Eve specials on television until December 31, 1945. WNBT produced a remote broadcast of festivities in Times Square. While NBC had begun to feed programs to WRGB in the Albany area and WPTZ in Philadelphia, information is unavailable as to whether either or both of these stations broadcast the program, or if it was seen just locally in New York.[5]

Unless New Year's Eve fell on a weekend, NBC would carry a special New Year's version of The Tonight Show each year beginning in 1954, including coverage of the arrival of the New Year in Times Square.

Dick Clark himself had actually emceed one New Year's Eve TV special prior to 1972; on December 31, 1959, he emceed a 90-minute New Year's special on ABC from 11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. EST.

Early years

By the 1970s, Lombardo's big band music skewed to an older generation, so Dick Clark started his telecast in 1972 to compete. In 2001, Clark recalled how he let everyone know his special was going to have a different approach:

Guy was the only choice for the older generation. That's why we put Rockin' in the title. It wasn't the Waldorf-Astoria with the people dancing cheek-to-jowl in their tuxedos and funny hats.

The first show, Three Dog Night's Year's Rockin' Eve 1973, on NBC, was hosted by Three Dog Night and also featured Blood, Sweat & Tears, Helen Reddy and Al Green.

The musical segments for the first Rockin' Eve were pre-taped in the main ballroom on board the Queen Mary, which had been moved to Long Beach, California after three decades of trans-Atlantic service for the Cunard Line in 1967, extensively remodeled, and had reopened as a hotel in 1971. This pattern continues to the present day: Most of the musical segments are taped in a studio in advance, while the segments from Times Square are telecast live.

The second show, New Year's Rockin' Eve 1974, also on NBC, was hosted by comedian George Carlin and featured The Pointer Sisters, Billy Preston, Linda Ronstadt and Tower Of Power.

Since then, the program has been broadcast over ABC.

Rockin' Eve' becomes a TV institution

Almost immediately, Rockin' Eve attracted younger viewers who preferred the contemporary rock and pop music featured on the show as opposed to the big-band music featured on the Lombardo show.

By the 1980s, with Lombardo deceased and the Lombardo orchestra (which continued to perform with other conductors) no longer appearing over network television on New Year's Eve, and CBS continuing their own shows without them until 1995-96, Rockin' Eve became the dominant New Year's Eve television program; it routinely attracts millions of viewers, many of whom watch while with families and friends at New Year's "house parties" across the country.

21st century

2000: ABC 2000 Today

New Year's Rockin' Eve was not broadcast from Friday, December 31, 1999 leading into Saturday, January 1, 2000, due to ABC 2000 Today, coverage of the millennium from ABC News hosted by Peter Jennings, broadcast live from coast-to-coast throughout the country. Despite this, Dick Clark still appeared as a correspondent in Times Square alongside ABC News correspondent Jack Ford, and was still given his usual honor of counting down the seconds remaining until the new millennium began, doing so with Ford, since the latter had been assigned to Times Square during the broadcast. Since the broadcast was live for the entire country at 12 a.m. EST, only East Coast viewers celebrated midnight with Dick Clark. At midnight for the other time zones, Dick Clark's countdown and the ball drop were not replayed. Instead, countdowns for other cities were shown live at their respective midnights. Because of ABC 2000 Today, Clark's role was limited. However, Clark won a Peabody Award for his coverage. Traditionally, Clark shares an on-screen kiss with his wife Kari Wigton after the ball drops.


Throughout the Monday, December 31, 2001, show leading to Tuesday, January 1, 2002, there were segments of people saying, "Happy New Year, America," in response to the September 11 attacks.


Regis Philbin hosted the Friday, December 31, 2004 and Saturday, January 1, 2005 broadcast because Clark was in the hospital with a stroke, suffered only a few weeks earlier, marking the second time Clark could not host his New Year's Eve broadcast and the first time since 1972 that he did not get to count down to the New Year on the air.

During this edition of New Year's Rockin' Eve, when the countdown for the final seconds of 2004 began rolling, host Regis Philbin said it was the first time he has ever hosted a New Year's Eve special on live television and that it surprised him to see over a million people cheering and dancing in their audience with their hats, noise makers, and confetti, directly in his sight. He offered a short speech consisting of well wishes for Dick Clark and quickly made one final New Year's resolution when the ball began to drop.

During CNN's New Year's Eve special, hosted by Anderson Cooper and broadcast around the world on both CNN & CNN International, revelers in Times Square told CNN's Jason Carroll that Philbin was "all right" filling in for Clark.[6]


In August 2005, it was announced that Ryan Seacrest would become the executive producer and co-host with Clark. It was also announced that Seacrest will eventually become sole host should Clark be unable to continue with the program. Seacrest, who had hosted Fox's New Year coverage in 2005, switched places with Philbin, who moved over to Fox for 2006.

On Saturday, December 31, 2005 and Sunday, January 1, 2006, Dick Clark appeared on Rockin' Eve 2006 in a slightly smaller studio role along with Seacrest and correspondent Marysol Castro in Times Square, and Hilary Duff in Hollywood. During the program, Clark remained behind a desk, and was only shown in limited segments. His speech was slower and deeper, and he appeared to have limited use of his right arm. However, he seemed to be completely in control of his faculties, making comments on how great the evening was going in Times Square. During the show, Clark said:

Last year I had a stroke. It left me in bad shape. I had to teach myself how to walk and talk again. It's been a long, hard fight. My speech is not perfect but I'm getting there.


Before Clark was counting down to 2006, he mentioned he "wouldn't have missed this [the telecast] for the world." Clark's countdown, however, was ahead of the actual time and in fact with three seconds still remaining on the clock Clark had already finished his countdown, declaring "Happy 2006!" with the crowd at Times Square still counting down the remaining two seconds.

Reaction to Clark's appearance was mixed, as reported by CNN. While some TV critics (including Tom Shales of The Washington Post, in an interview with the CBS Radio Network) felt he was not in good enough shape to do the broadcast, stroke survivors and many of Clark's fans praised the MC for being a role model for people dealing with post-stroke recovery.[8]

One of the performances on the 2005-2006 special was from Mariah Carey, who sang some of her hits from her #1 album The Emancipation of Mimi directly from Times Square.


For the Sunday, December 31, 2006 show leading into Monday, January 1, 2007, Christina Aguilera performed "Candyman", which was a track from her newest album, and her 2003 single "Fighter" live in Times Square moments before midnight. RBD performed three songs, "Tu amor", "Wanna Play", and "Ser o parecer". It was the first time a Spanish-speaking group performed a song in Spanish on the broadcast. Meat Loaf also performed a shortened version of his song "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" with Aspen Miller (who has been signed to be the lead female singer on his "Bat out of Hell III" tour.)

Dick Clark returned to hosting the show once again, the second time after recovering from his stroke. At first, Clark's countdown was again slightly off from the actual time, but by 11:59:55 p.m., he had lined himself up, forcing himself to skip the number 10 in order to keep up with the actual time in the last seconds. Shortly after midnight, Clark was seen in a heartfelt moment with host Ryan Seacrest, as Seacrest thanked him for his commitment to the show over the years and his continued willingness to be a part of the event. After that, they went on to share a few jokes, and then Seacrest picked up hosting duties for the remainder of the show.

Afterwards, Rihanna hosted the remainder of the events in New York, while Fergie hosted the (pre-taped) portion originating from Hollywood.


For Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve 2008, the Monday, December 31, 2007 show leading into 2008, Ryan Seacrest remained co-host along with Dick Clark, whose voice had improved greatly since the previous year. This was Clark's third year back on the broadcast after his stroke. Fergie again hosted the west coast party in Hollywood. During the ball drop at midnight, Clark remained on time throughout the countdown, although he skipped :01 in order to be on time. After midnight, Ryan Seacrest joined Clark in the studio for another moment (as with the past few years) in which Clark and Seacrest thanked each other for their commitment to the event. After that, Seacrest was handed hosting duties until 1 a.m. Eastern time. After 1 a.m., Fergie was handed hosting duty. Jordin Sparks sang her song, "Tattoo on the Times Square stage.

Miley Cyrus was next up. She sang her songs "Start All Over" and "G.N.O. (Girl's Night Out)". Later, she also sang one of her Hannah Montana songs, "We Got the Party" as a duet with the Jonas Brothers. The Jonas Brothers performed their singles "Hold On" and "SOS" Carrie Underwood was the main performer and sang a medley of "Flat On The Floor", "All-American Girl", and "Before He Cheats".

At the Hollywood party singers Plain White T's, Fergie, Sean Kingston, Natasha Bedingfield, Taylor Swift, will.i.am, and OneRepublic performed songs.


The Wednesday, December 31, 2008 show leading into Thursday, January 1, 2009 introduced a slight name change to reflect both hosts of the show—Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve 2009 with Ryan Seacrest.[1]

Kellie Pickler served as Ryan Seacrest's correspondent for the majority of the show, replacing Marysol Castro. The Jonas Brothers, Jesse McCartney, Taylor Swift, and the Pussycat Dolls performed again. Former President Bill Clinton and Senator and Secretary of State-to be Hillary Rodham Clinton officiated the dropping of the ball.

Clark's role in this edition was significantly expanded; in the previous years since his stroke he had only hosted one segment in addition to the countdown, but for 2008-09, Clark split the time roughly evenly between himself and Seacrest during the half-hour leading up to the ball drop. However, like in previous years, Clark mostly disappeared after midnight, ceding duties to Seacrest and Fergie, and did not appear at all during the prime time broadcast.


For the first time, the pre-taped musical segments for Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2010 originated from America's Party in Las Vegas; musical guests in the segments taped there included The Black Eyed Peas, Colbie Caillat, Robin Thicke, Keri Hilson, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, David Guetta, and Orianthi. Once more, Fergie served as hostess for these pre-taped music segments.[9]

Jennifer Lopez and Daughtry performed live in Times Square during the special, while Good Morning America's Melissa Rycroft reported on festivities there.[9]

On December 2, 2009, American Idol 8 runner-up Adam Lambert issued a statement claiming he had been booked to appear but that the booking was canceled under pressure from ABC after his controversial performance at the 2009 American Music Awards. Neither ABC nor Dick Clark Productions ever confirmed whether or not Lambert had indeed been booked.[9]

Clark involved himself somewhat more in interacting with the hosts during his time on air, and stayed on a few minutes longer than he had in previous years. His speech was still a bit slurred and occasionally incomprehensible to some viewers.[10] During the countdown, Clark accidentally began counting by twos at the 14-second mark, but corrected himself at the 11-second mark and remained on time for the remainder of the countdown.[10] Starting this year, the Toshiba billboard countdown clock as seen in Times Square was also shown in the lower right of the screen.


For Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2011, Ke$ha and Taio Cruz performed live from Times Square. Also, after a year's hiatus, the pre-taped musical performances recorded in Hollywood returned. For the fifth consecutive year, singer Fergie appeared as hostess, this year of the pre-taped segments taped in Hollywood. Actress Jenny McCarthy appeared as a hostess of the Times Square festivities.[11]

Among the performers who also appeared were Avril Lavigne, along with her new single "What The Hell", Natasha Bedingfield who performed her latest single "Strip Me", Jennifer Hudson, Ne-Yo, Train, Mike Posner, Willow Smith, Jason Derülo, Far East Movement, La Roux, Ke$ha, Drake, and closing the show, the supergroup NKOTBSB (the combined Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block).[11]

Dick Clark made no mistake on the countdown to the 2011 New Year as he did during the previous year, maintaining perfect timing. He began counting down at the 24-second mark.[12]


Although not all musical guests have yet been booked, it has been confirmed that Justin Bieber , Lady Gaga and One Republic will appear on the show, performing live in Times Square.[13]

In popular culture

  • In an episode of The King of Queens, the character Arthur Spooner claims that Clark stole the idea of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve from him. He admits that Clark did not steal the Rockin' part.
  • An episode ("The One with the Routine") of Friends featured Monica and Ross, Joey and Janine dancing in one of the pre-taped segments of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve.
  • The Will Smith song "Will 2K" contains the line "Dick Clark holdin' it down" despite Clark's reduced role in the festivities that year.
  • In the 1999 Treehouse of Horror episode of The Simpsons, Dick Clark hosts an edition of New Year's Rockin' Eve in Springfield. When a Y2K bug sets the clock back to strike 1900 at midnight, Clark laments, "Oh no.... it's happening!" as his skin melts away to reveal a robotic skeleton underneath. Nearby Springfield citizens flee.
  • In When Harry Met Sally, Harry thinks to himself that it will not be so bad spending New Year's alone because there's "Dick Clark, that's tradition".
  • In an episode of Mad About You, Dick Clark is at his home deciding to opt out of that year's celebration. He later regrets not hosting that year's telecast when Paul Buchman causes the men to tangle and stop the ball during the countdown. In the credits for the episode, Dick Clark vows to his wife to come back and host the next year as well as bring back American Bandstand.[14]
  • In the January 1, 2001 comic strip of Penny Arcade, Gabe calls an automated customer service machine complaining that "your dumb cable is out, and I can't watch Dick Clark get his mack on."[15]
  • In the episode ("The Countdown") of The O.C. both Kirsten and Seth mention being home on New Year's Eve to watch Dick Clark and the ball drop, "two images that should not be used in the same sentence."
  • In the Broadway musical, Rent, before the song "Happy New Year", Mark dubs his New Year's Eve break-in party "New Year's Rockin' Eve."


  1. ^ a b Cuprisin, Tim (August 8, 2008). "NBC utilizing all resources for 24-hour Olympics coverage". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: p. B6. "ABC's annual countdown to the new year in the Eastern time zone used to be called "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve." Henceforth, it is known as 'Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest.'" 
  2. ^ Collins, Scott (December 25, 2006). "Past, Present, and...Future?". Los Angeles Times: p. E1. 
  3. ^ Moore, Frazier (December 26, 2001). "Next week to be 25th New Year's Eve without Guy Lombardo". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. http://www.post-gazette.com/tv/20011226guy1226p6.asp. Retrieved 2007-01-01. 
  4. ^ "Merrymakers Jam Hotels and Clubs". New York Times: p. 35. January 1, 1942. 
  5. ^ "For Service Men and Women". New York Times: p. 22. December 31, 1945. 
  6. ^ "CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL New Year's Eve Special". CNN.com. December 31, 2004. http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0412/31/se.01.html. 
  7. ^ http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Dick_Clarks_New_Years_Rockin_Eve_-_The_2006_New_Years_special/id/4984239
  8. ^ Noveck, Jocelyn (January 4, 2006). "Clark inspires stroke victims in TV return". Fort Wayne (Ind.) Journal-Gazette. Associated Press. "Stroke survivors and their advocates said Tuesday they were cheered and inspired by Dick Clark's New Year's Eve appearance, ringing in 2006 a year after his debilitating stroke." 
  9. ^ a b c Racheff, Jeffery (December 31, 2009). "Rock Out with Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve 2010". Limelife.com. http://www.limelife.com/blog-entry/Rock-Out-with-Dick-Clarks-Rockin-New-Years-Eve-2010/29591.html. 
  10. ^ a b Dick Clark's New Year's Eve Countdown to 2010 on YouTube
  11. ^ a b "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve 2011". http://abc.go.com/shows/dick-clarks-new-years-rockin-eve-with-ryan-seacrest-2011. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  12. ^ New Years Rockin Eve 2011 Countdown with Dick Clark on YouTube
  13. ^ Story by Gil Kaufman, appearing on MTV.com, posted October 18, 2011
  14. ^ King, Susan (December 31, 1995). "Dick Clark Rockin' Man". Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/print/1995-12-31/news/tv-19454_1_dick-clark. 
  15. ^ Penny Arcade! - happy new year

External links

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