New Year's Eve is traditionally the time for anyone and everyone to hit the town and celebrate the end of one year as well as the beginning of the next. For those who prefer to stay home and ring in the New Year from the comfort of their couch, the ABC staple Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve may be an essential part of the festivities. The annual music and celeb extravaganza has been airing every December 31 for more than 40 years now, but this year, the team at New Year's Rockin' Eve is trying something new by adding another time zone of coverage: Central.
The festivities of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve start on Sunday evening and continue into the wee hours of the morning. For those of us who dwell in the Eastern Time Zone, we've always had the option of watching either Dick Clark or his successor Ryan Seacrest counting down the seconds to midnight live on ABC. For those in Central, Mountain, and Pacific Time Zones, the New Year's Rockin' Eve telecast at midnight has been a tape of what happened when the ball dropped in New York City earlier that night. Luckily for those living in Central, they'll finally get a rockin' live countdown of their own.
The Central Time broadcast will feature the best festivities that New Orleans has to offer in the final hours of 2016. Live segments will include performances from the annual Fan Fest in New Orleans that gathers locals and tourists together to count down until midnight. In place of a ball dropping like in Times Square, New Orleans has a fleur-de-lis that drops each year in Jackson Square. Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve host Ryan Seacrest will lead the New Orleans countdown from his spot in New York City, along with Jenny McCarthy. Folks in Central Time will get to see their own version of a live New Year's Rockin' Eve rather than the taped Times Square version of the previous years.
Congrats to everybody in Central! May your eves rock as hard for you as for those of us in the Eastern Time Zone. Unfortunately for those living in Mountain and Pacific Time Zones, taped versions of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve will still be shown there. Who knows? Maybe if the expansion into Central goes well enough for 2016, ABC will look into broadcasting from other time zones as well in the future.
No matter what your time zone, Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve is packing in enough performances that it should be worth the watch for all the homebodies this New Year. Mariah Carey, DNCE, Thomas Rhett, and Gloria Estefan (with the cast of the Broadway musical On Your Feet!) will perform in Times Square. The festivities of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve start on December 31 at 8 p.m. ET with Ryan Seacrest as host. Check out our midseason TV premiere schedule to see what you can watch on the small screen in the not-too-distant future.