New Year's Eve with Carson Daly
|New Year's Eve with Carson Daly|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||9|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Universal Television
Carson Daly Productions
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
|Original release||December 31, 2003|
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. The special is hosted and produced by Carson Daly—better known since 2011 as host of The Voice, through his self-named production company, in association with Universal Television.
Until 2015, similarly to other New Year's Eve specials broadcast by the major networks, New Year's Eve with Carson Daly was divided into two halves, including an hour aired in primetime at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT, followed by the main program at 11:30 p.m. following late local news or other programming. Since the 2016 edition, the primetime portion was dropped, and has been replaced with special editions of other NBC programs.
Since the 1940s, NBC had broadcast coverage of New Year's festivities from Times Square anchored by Ben Grauer on both radio and television. Its coverage was later incorporated into special editions of the network's late night talk show, The Tonight Show, continuing through Johnny Carson's tenure on the program. Beginning in 1972, NBC aired the first two editions of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, before it moved to its current home of ABC.
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 New Year's Eve Live with Ryan Seacrest pulled in 5.7 million.
For the 2004-05 edition, 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 special featured performances by Avril Lavigne, Duran Duran, and Maroon 5, along with special guest appearances by Brian Williams and Donald Trump.
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. 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%.
For 2015-16, New Year's Eve with Carson Daly was co-hosted by Andy Cohen, and shortened to only consist of the late-night portion airing at 11:30 p.m.; the 10:00 p.m. ET/PT hour was replaced by New Year’s Eve Game Night—a special live episode of Hollywood Game Night hosted by Cohen. Mel B of the Spice Girls and America's Got Talent co-hosted the 2016-17 edition, which included performances by Alicia Keys, Blake Shelton, and Pentatonix. The 10:00 p.m. ET/PT hour was occupied by a special primetime episode of Late Night with Seth Meyers with guests Arnold Schwarzenegger (in anticipation of The New Celebrity Apprentice), Leslie Jones, and Jennifer Lawrence.
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