‘Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2017′ Tries Something New

For 44 years, Americans from all over the USA have stayed up late to watch the ball drop from Times Square in New York signaling the beginning of a brand new year. However, up until now, only those on the East coast saw the New Year’s events happen live. This year, ABC is expanding its live coverage of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2017 to include New Orleans, Louisiana for the show’s first-ever Central Time Zone Countdown.

Highlights for the new coverage include an exclusive live performance from the Allstate Fan Fest (that eventually leads up to the Allstate Sugar Bowl game), select interviews, and a “stunning fleur-de-lis drop near Jackson Square” according to ABC. Over in New York City, Ryan Seacrest will lead the traditional New Year’s Eve countdown with Jenny McCarthy. This year’s special will once again share in the Billboard Hollywood Party in Los Angeles which will be hosted by Fergie.

Ryan Seacrest, left, and Jenny McCarthy, hosts of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve on ABC, pose for a portrait Friday, Dec. 28, 2012 in New York. Dan Hallman

“Known for its vibrant culture and deep musical roots, New Orleans is the ideal choice to host our first-ever Central Time Zone countdown,” said Mike Mahan, president of Dick Clark Productions.

“We are excited to expand our tradition of ringing in the New Year to the ‘Big Easy.'”

Billy Nungesser, Louisiana’s Lieutenant Governor, echoes the sentiment saying, “We are thrilled to kick off 2017 by showcasing our amazing culture to the rest of the world as we broadcast the Central Time Zone New Year’s Eve celebrations happening in New Orleans and around the state of Louisiana. This past year was challenging for our wonderful state, but we remain a world class destination ready to celebrate a New Year and welcome visitors from around the globe! We look forward to opening our doors to the world!”

This marks the 45th anniversary of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve which Ryan Seacrest has been a part of since 2006. The special features 5.5 hours of programming that contains more than just silly interviews with people standing in the cold waiting for the stroke of midnight. Reports will be given throughout the night about New Year’s celebrations from all over the world in between musical acts performing in New York, New Orleans, and Los Angeles. Those performing in New York include Mariah Carey, DNCE, Thomas Rhett, and Gloria Estefan with the cast of her Broadway musical ON YOUR FEET! Over at the Billboard Hollywood Party, Niall Horan, Lukas Graham, Shawn Mendes, Emeli Sande and Fifth Harmony featuring Kid Ink and Ty Dolla $ign are all on board to perform. Other performances have yet to be announced.


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Dick Clark hosting "New Year's Rockin' Eve 1996. [Image by Wally Santana/AP Images]

Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve began as an annual tradition on NBC in 1973. Up until then, the only real live countdown programming was CBS’ Guy Lombardo’s big band New Year’s Eve broadcast. Clark provided a counter-programming aimed at a much younger audience. The very first special was hosted by Three Dog Night with Dick Clark left out in the cold as a Times Square reporter. The special aired one more year on NBC (hosted this time by George Carlin) before making the move to ABC where Dick Clark served as host every year until 2004. After suffering from a stroke, Regis Philbin served as a guest host in 2005. Having mostly recovered from his stroke, Clark returned to host the show in 2006 but still found it difficult to speak clearly. Much of his regular duties were passed onto Ryan Seacrest, but Clark continued to appear on the special until 2011. Ryan assumed the sole host of the program in 2012 after Clark’s death earlier in the year. The special continues on with Dick Clark’s name as a tribute.

The Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2017 will begin its long 5.5-hour journey at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 31 on ABC.

[Featured Image by Andy Kropa/AP Images]