Tuesday, December 28

New Year's Eve

So what are you doing New Year's Eve?

It's the question of the week, as most people I know are still scrambling to make plans. We can blame it on the "thundersnow" and holiday travel, but the truth is that it's pretty much the same every year. We kind of make plans at the last minute, at least I do.

If you are staying home or going to a party at someone's home, there are several "brands" to choose from on television. I say "brands" because these entertainment properties, some vintage and some new, have become brands unto themselves. Brands that are either directly tied to New Year's Eve or that are bringing their "equity" to the event. Let's check out a few and see which brand fits your needs.

Dick Clark. Many of us think of him as the original New Year's Eve "brand", as well we should. He started the countdown in 1972, was pretty much unchallenged for years, and really does still own it. As his health has started to fade, sidekick (and entertainment successor) Ryan Seacrest joined him in 2005. While in our minds this is Dick Clark's show, it was really Guy Lombardo who invented the night and also made famous "Auld Lang Syne". But the night now and still belongs to Dick and Ryan, with a big focus on the ball drop. Clarification: the ball made by Waterford crystal.

Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin. Relative new comers to the scene, this pair came together almost by accident, but have created a unique duo in celebrating the New Year. Anderson and Kathy are more comedy oriented and are on cnn. While Dick may own the ball drop, you can't miss Anderson's shoe drop live from Key West.

Carson Daly. Coming off his success as a music host for mtv, Carson has a music-oriented show that has been successful the last few years on nbc.

So I've just noted abc, cnn, and nbc, but the truth is that most of the networks have a special or two planned including mtv, cbs, and fox. But what about Bravo? The masters of pop culture and reality tv.

Well Bravo's own Andy Cohen is hosting his first New Year's Eve special complete with all of his favorite "bravo-lebrities." Oh, and a wig drop. Let's see if Andy Cohen has the 411 when it comes to this holiday!

So with all of these great entertainment brands to choose from for New Year's Eve, who's the best and who's the winner? The answer to that is easy ... New York City.

New York City IS New Year's Eve so no matter what you fancy, New York City should be part of the mix. The original New Year's Eve brand, starting in 1904 in Times Square with the first ball drop in 1907. The first televised special? 1941 from The Rainbow Room on top of Rockefeller Center.

Enjoy and have a happy ....

What's your experience? Jim.


  1. I know this will sound super-geeky, but the past couple of years SyFy's (Sci Fi's) Twightlight Zone marathon has been our "New Year's brand" of choice. Not so much for the big night- but there's nothing better than Rod Serling and those somber black and white tones to combat a hangover...