New Year ‘s Rockin Eve has never taken so much time – five hours at least to countdown one 10-second stretch time. But in addition to “Dick Clark’s Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” (ABC, 10 p.m.), which plays like a preshow, there is the actual (ABC, 11:30 p.m.) followed by all the West Coast business.
Ryan Seacrest will again be the main host, Dick Clark will again take over uncomfortably at key moments, and entertainment will be provided by Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Pitbull, Beyonce, The Band Perry, Blink-182, Hot Chelle Rae, Gym Class Heroes, LMFAO, OneRepublic, Nicki Minaj, Taio Cruz, Carlos Santana, Robin Thicke, Christina Perri and will.i.am. and Florence + the Machine.
But before any of that starts, the rest of prime time will be devoted to the Times Square tradition in the special “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve: The 40th Anniversary Party” hosted by Jenny McCarthy and Fergie harkening back to the earliest days in 1971 when “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” just sounded like bad syntax.