Once again, ABC is ringing in the new year — and the 50th anniversary of its “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.” The end-of-year special, the longest-running one in the United States, is celebrating its half-century anniversary on December 31, after it first premiered on NBC in 1972.
The special will broadcast live December 31. beginning 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on ABC, and will air until 2 a.m. ET. Ryan Seacrest is set to return to host the special for the 18th time, interviewing guests and presenting performances from Times Square in New York City while counting down to the annual ball drop. Aside from watching on ABC, the special can also be streamed using a live TV service like Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, Pluto, YouTube TV, and Sling TV.
Seacrest is joined by Liza Koshy as co-host for the event in Times Square. Country musician Jessie James Decker also returns for her fourth year as the host of the “Powerball” segment, which sees a winner of a $1 million lottery announced live on air.
The broadcast is set to feature several performances from popular music acts live in Times Square. Duran Duran, which was just inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, will headline the special, performing just before midnight. R&B group New Edition will perform a medley of their past hits in celebration of their 40-year anniversary. BTS member J-Hope will perform a holiday remix of the group’s Billboard No. 1 hit “Butter,” while TikTok -famous musician Jax is also scheduled to perform.
Musician Ciara will host pre-taped segments from Disneyland Resort, which will feature appearances from stars like Fitz & The Tantrums, Maddie & Tae, Shaggy, Ben Platt, Aly & AJ, Halle Bailey, Tomorrow x Together, Bailey Zimmerman, and Lauren Spencer Smith. DJ D-Nice will host segments from Los Angeles featuring performances from Wiz Khalifa, Finneas, Armani White, Betty Who, Dove Cameron, and Nicky Youre. Roselyn Sanchez will host Spanish-language segments shot in Puerto Rico, with a performance from rapper and singer Farruko. Finally, Billy Porter will return for his fourth year to host the Central Standard Time countdown from New Orleans, where he will also perform.
During the special, five organizations will be honored via “Catalysts for Compassion” segments, first introduced during last year’s broadcast. The special will feature interviews with members of the organizations, which focus on combating inequities and were chosen by the various co-hosts. These include The Center for Black Women’s Wellness, which was chosen by Ciara; Fund Recovery, chosen by Decker; The Sato Project, chosen by Sanchez; Silence the Shame, chosen by D-Nice; and the Stonewall Foundation, chosen by Porter.
“Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” is one of the two most popular annual New Year’s Eve broadcasts in the country, along with CNN’s annual New Year’s special. Last year, it was the No. 1 entertainment telecast of 2021, hitting 24.2 million total viewers and a 7.3 with adults 18-49 in the midnight quarter-hour.