New Year's Eve specials to watch while ringing in 2021 from home
Like many events, New Year's Eve specials this year will be looking a bit different — there won't be huge crowds at Time Square surrounding hosts, plus many events are going virtual this December. Still, it's comforting to know that a lot of familiar faces will be returning to emcee the countdown to 2021 (which can't come soon enough!). Ryan Seacrest will be back hosting Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, while Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen are once again teaming up for CNN's special.
If you're looking for a break from tradition, why not check out comedians Ken Jeong and Joel McHale's "Roast and Toast" for Fox, or virtual celebrations from Snoop Dogg, top queens from RuPaul's Drag Race, and more.
Check out EW's list below:
Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2021
When to watch: Thursday, Dec. 31 beginning at 8 p.m. ET on ABC
Who is hosting: Ryan Seacrest, Lucy Hale, and Billy Porter in Times Square, with Ciara covering festivities in Los Angeles
Who is performing: Jennifer Lopez will headline from Times Square and she'll be joined by Porter, Cyndi Lauper, Jimmie Allen, and Machine Gun Kelly. Performing on the West Coast will be Miley Cyrus, Megan Thee Stallion, Nelly, Maluma, and Doja Cat, with one new artist announced each day until Dec. 31. Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden are set to make an appearance during the telecast.
Other info: The show will air until 2 a.m. ET and will give viewers a look at New Year’s celebrations from around the world
Who should watch: People looking for the classic New Year's Eve countdown (it'll be the special's 49th anniversary, and the 16th year with Seacrest hosting!)
New Year's Eve: Escape from 2020
When to watch: 8 p.m. ET on NBC
Who is hosting: Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager will look back on the most inspirational moments of 2020 and the buzziest trends and videos that gave everyone much-needed comedic break
Who is appearing: No performances, but celebrities including Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Jane Levy, Al Roker, Gwen Stefani, and more share their hopes for 2021 in interviews
Other info: The two-hour primetime special airs before NBC’S New Year's Eve 2021 event
Who should watch: Viewers wanting a light-hearted review of the year before catching performances and the countdown later
CNN's New Year's Eve
When to watch: Dec. 31 beginning 8 p.m. ET on CNN
How to watch: The CNN live stream will be available on CNN.com’s homepage and across mobile devices via CNN’s apps for iOS and Android. It can also be viewed on CNNgo (at CNN.com/go on your desktop, smartphone, and iPad, and via CNNgo apps)
Who is hosting: Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen will be hosting the celebration together for the fourth time, before they hand it off to Brooke Baldwin and Don Lemon at 12:30 a.m. ET
Who is performing: John Mayer, Snoop Dogg, Patti LaBelle, Jimmy Buffett, Carole Baskin, Josh Groban, Leslie Jordan, Dulce Sloan, Desus & Mero, Kylie Minogue, Aloe Blacc, Goo Goo Dolls, and Jon Bon Jovi
Who should watch: If you like Cooper and Cohen's dynamic, plus some of the performances are geared toward older viewers (shout out Parrot Heads!)
NBC’S New Year's Eve 2021
When to watch: 10-11 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET/PT on NBC
Who is hosting: Carson Daly returns as host and accompanying him in Time's Square will be comedian Amber Ruffin and Stephen "tWitch" Boss from The Ellen DeGeneres Show
Who is performing: AJR, Busta Rhymes featuring Anderson .Paak, Chloe x Halle, CNCO, Jason Derulo, Goo Goo Dolls, Kylie Minogue, Pentatonix, Bebe Rexha featuring Doja Cat, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, and Sting featuring Shirazee
Who should watch: If you — or your household — like a range of genres and personalities
Fox's New Year's Eve Toast & Roast 2021
When to watch: Part 1 airs Dec. 31 (8-10 p.m. ET/CT live MT/PT tape-delayed), and Part 2 airs Dec. 31 (11 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET live, CT/MT/PT tape-delayed)
Who is hosting: Ken Jeong and Joel McHale
Who is performing: LeAnn Rimes (who just won The Masked Singer!), Gloria Estefan, "singing surgeon" and TMS competitor Doctor Elvis in a tribute to healthcare workers, plus iHeartRadio performances from John Legend, Ava Max, Green Day, and Gabby Barrett
Other info: Expect celebrity appearances from Call Me Kat's Cheyenne Jackson and Mayim Bialik, Jane Krakowski and Randy Jackson from their new game show Name That Tune, Leslie Jordan, Morris Chestnut, Tim Allen, and Tom Payne
Who should watch: Comedy fans who are into the Community costars' banter, plus TMS viewers who are already missing season 4 (there will be a Masked Dancer sneak peek during the special, too)
Catch Go-Big Show Presents Snoop Dog's Virtual New Year's Eve Party from 11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. ET. The rapper will be joined by guests like Rosario Dawson and Bert Kreischer, and entertainment includes DJs and even a sword swallower. Plus, virtual party-goers will be able to tour Snoop's Compound, including his Doggyland casino and lavish basketball court. Fans can RSVP for the free event at SnoopNYE.com.
More than a dozen of your favorite drag queens will feature in the New Year's Queens: Goodbye 2020! digital drag revue. Alaska, Bob the Drag Queen, Peppermint, Miz Cracker, Katya, and Trixie Mattel will host, with performances from BenDeLaCreme, Jinkx Monsoon, Jujubee, Manila Luzon, BeBe Zahara Benet, and more. The epic 11-hour livestream event begins 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT and tickets start at $39.