New Year's Eve with Carson Daly

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New Year's Eve with Carson Daly
Starring Carson Daly
Country of origin  United States
Running time Primetime: 60 minutes (10:00–11:00 p.m.)
Late night: 60 minutes (11:30 p.m.–12:30 a.m)
Original channel NBC
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
Original release 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.

The special is hosted and produced by television personality Carson Daly through his self-named production company, in association with Universal Television.


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.[1] 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.[2] 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.[1]

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.[1][2]

The 2013-14 edition featured performances by Mariah Carey and Blake Shelton, and was co-hosted by Jane Lynch. Natasha Leggero's guest appearance on the special was met with controversy regarding her comments about a controversial tweet posted by SpaghettiOs on the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, quipping that "it sucks that the only survivors of Pearl Harbor are being mocked by the only food they can still chew." Her remarks were met with an immediate backlash over social media; in response, Leggero stated in a blog entry that she would not apologize, arguing that "the amazing courage of American veterans and specifically those who survived Pearl Harbor is [not] in any way diminished by a comedian making a joke about dentures on television", and that "I have more respect for Veterans than to think their honor can be impugned by a glamorous, charming comedian in a fur hat." She also called on those offended by the remarks to donate to Disabled American Veterans.[3][4][5] The 2013-14 edition marked ratings gains for the special; while it was still beaten overall by New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest, the primetime segment (which had an NBC News special, A Toast to 2013 as a lead-in) brought 50% higher ratings than the previous year, and the midnight coverage was up by 6%.[6]

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.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Oldenberg, Ann (29 December 2005). "Battle of Times Square". USA Today. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Carson Daly stakes his claim on New Year's Eve". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. December 31, 2004. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "TV highlights: Networks compete for most entertaining New Year’s show". Washington Post. 30 December 2013. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "Comedian Natasha Leggero responds to controversy over World War II veteran joke: 'I'm not sorry". New York Daily News. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "Comedian Natasha Leggero is Sorry/Not-Sorry About SpaghettiO-Gate". New York Observer. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  6. ^ "ABC Easily Tops New Year’s Eve Ratings But NBC Makes Strides". Variety. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  7. ^ Carter, Bill. "The Unsocial Network (Excerpt)". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 

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