TV staple returns to lead ABC’s Dick Clark-originated holiday gala
It’s never just another New Year’s Eve for Ryan Seacrest.
The “Live With Kelly and Ryan” co-host moonlights from his day job – actually, jobs, also counting his nationally broadcast radio program – to be in New York’s Times Square for his 15th year as “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest” has its traditional ABC airing Tuesday, Dec. 31. As usual, the special welcoming 2020 begins in primetime and continues in late night, with Lucy Hale (of The CW’s upcoming “Katy Keene”) succeeding Jenny McCarthy as Seacrest’s on-site co-host. Post Malone, BTS, Sam Hunt and Alanis Morissette will be the music headliners there.
“Pose” Emmy winner Billy Porter will join the festivities from New Orleans (where Hale was based for the show previously), presiding over a talent lineup led by Sheryl Crow and Usher. The Hollywood “party” remains part of the event, guided by returnee Ciara with Kelsea Ballerini, Green Day, Paula Abdul, Dan + Shay and Salt-N-Pepa featured. And just after midnight (EST), Jonas Brothers will perform from Miami and country star Jessie James Decker will reveal the new year’s first Powerball millionaire.
“It’s bigger this year,” Seacrest confirms. “When I started doing the show with Dick (Clark), there were not many if any live performances in Times Square. It started to grow, and the artists saw it, and they would come on at the end of a big year. And then we grew the Hollywood party, and then we started in New Orleans as well, which has become its own universe of a party. I think for the first time, we’ve got it on a scale that needs other people to help me carry it all night.”
Jenny McCarthy long held that job, and Seacrest reports that “she had worked on New Year’s Eve for so many years, she’s looking forward to having a night relaxing (likely with husband Donnie Wahlberg). You forget what it’s like for the rest of the world because you’re on your feet all night, but Lucy did a great job in New Orleans, so we’re going to bring her up to New York.
“And Billy Porter, I am such a massive fan of,” adds Seacrest. “Looking at the skill set and the talent that he has, I was so hoping I would get the phone call that this was a green light for him.”
Also now taping for the third season of ABC’s incarnation of “American Idol,” which premieres Feb. 16, Seacrest appreciates using his vast radio experience on New Year’s Eve: “When I introduce the songs the performers are doing, I know exactly how long I can talk before the vocal starts. I’m so used to playing the same record on the radio, it makes it a little more seamless for me.”