The New Year's Eve Ball is photographed on the roof of One Times Square in New York as Waterford Crystal triangles are installed.
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So many options are available, yet really there is only one TV choice when ringing in the new year.
It’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2014. That’s a mouthful of a show title, but it’s only fitting because this show, airing on ABC, is also the biggest by far of the countdown-to-midnight shows.
Other networks will do many of the same things, such as broadcasting the famous ball drop from Times Square in New York City, where an estimated 1 million people will gather to see it in person.
But Clark, who died in 2012, staked a claim on televising this party back in 1972 and turned the music-based Times Square countdown into a national tradition.
Even if you don’t care for the ubiquitous Seacrest, Clark’s handpicked successor, the caliber and quantity of the musical guests still make the bicoastal Rockin’ Eve party the best one on TV.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Blondie, Icona Pop, and Miley Cyrus are among those performing live from Times Square. The West Coast lineup includes Capital Cities, Daughtry, Jason Derulo, Fall Out Boy, Florida Georgia Line, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Enrique Iglesias, Robin Thicke, and the Fray. And Billy Joel will perform after midnight from Brooklyn.
It all begins at 8 p.m. with a two-hour 30 Greatest Women in Music show that’s just filler. Prime-time festivities begin at 10.
Here are some additional New Year’s Eve TV highlights:
● New Year’s Eve Live (11 p.m. on Fox): Fox’s 90-minute Las Vegas-based broadcast is hosted by Mario Lopez from the Vegas Strip, although the network will cut away to New York for the ball drop. Musical performers include J. Cole, Krewella, New Politics, and Panic! At the Disco.
● All-American New Year (9 p.m. on Fox News Channel): Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Bill Hemmer will host this 3½-hour show from Times Square. The musical lineup includes Rodney Atkins, Blues Traveler, and Susan Boyle.
● New Year’s Eve Live With Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin (9 p.m. on CNN): The CNN anchor and the anything-for-a-laugh comedienne reunite for the seventh year in a row to co-host 3½ hours of coverage.
● New Year’s Eve With Carson Daly (10 p.m. on NBC): NBC’s two hours of New York-based coverage and musical guests will be split, with one hour in prime time, the other hour beginning at 11:30.
● TeenNick Top 10 New Year’s Eve Countdown (11 p.m. on Nick at Nite, TeenNick, Nicktoons, and NickMom): Nick Cannon hosts the one-hour special, in which 4Count and Echosmith will perform live and the year’s top music videos (as determined by voters on TeenNick.com) are revealed.
For New Year’s laughs, Cinemax airs New Year’s Eve, the 2011 romantic comedy with an all-star cast that includes Robert De Niro, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Michelle Pfeiffer, at 10 p.m.