New Year's Eve with Carson Daly
|New Year's Eve with Carson Daly|
|Format||New Year's Eve television special|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||60 minutes per episode with commercials|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
|Original run||December 31, 2003 – present|
New Year's Eve with Carson Daly is a television special which airs on New Year's Eve annually on NBC. The special is broadcast from Times Square in New York City, and prominently features coverage of its annual ball drop event, along with live and pre-recorded musical performances by popular musicians from Rockefeller Center and Los Angeles. Premiering for New Year's Eve 2003-04, the special competes against similar specials that also cover the ball drop, such as ABC's New Year's Rockin' Eve. Similarly to New Year's Rockin' Eve, the special is divided into two halves; an hour aired in primetime at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT, followed by the main program at 11:35 p.m. following late local news or other programming.
Since the 1940s, NBC had broadcast coverage of festivities from Times Square anchored by Ben Grauer on both radio and television; ultimately its coverage was incorporated into special editions of the network's late night talk show, The Tonight Show, continuing through Johnny Carson's tenure on the program. Following his arrival at the network from MTV (where he had also hosted New Year's specials), Carson Daly had personally expressed an interest in participating in other ventures for NBC alongside his new late night program Last Call with Carson Daly, including the idea of producing a New Year's Eve special for the network. The first edition of the special, known as New Year's Eve with Carson Daly, premiered for New Year's Eve 2003-04. Daly hosted the first edition of the special from Rockefeller Center, averaging a total of 4.5 million viewers; by contrast, ABC's Primetime New Year's Rockin' Eve pulled in 7.9 million, and Fox's special with Ryan Seacrest pulled in 5.7 million.
In the following year, Daly began hosting the show from directly from Times Square. Discussing the special, Daly said that New Year's Eve with Carson Daly would be "a little smarter than MTV, yet cooler than Dick Clark", showcasing the atmosphere of the event and not being a "giant mishmash of pre-produced things." The 2004-05 edition featured performances by Avril Lavigne, Duran Duran, Maroon 5, along with special guest appearances by Brian Williams and Donald Trump.
The special also played a very important role in the 2010 Tonight Show conflict. To accommodate New Year's Eve with Carson Daly and other possible pre-emptions, NBC inserted a clause into Conan O'Brien's contract that allowed The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien to be postponed to as late as 12:05 a.m ET/PT. Though this was supposed to only be used for temporary pre-emptions, NBC attempted to make this permanent by proposing that The Jay Leno Show be cut by a half hour and moved to an 11:35 p.m. to 12:05 a.m. time slot.