Starting a new year by freezing your appendages off to watch some outdoor fireworks show isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Nor is paying an arm and a leg to go to a ridiculously crowded bar, where you’re lucky if you get beef on a bun and a glass of champagne at midnight.
For folks who are content to spend New Year’s Eve at home in the flickering glow of their flatscreens (or those of us who use our disdain of New Year’s celebrations to mask the secret pain of having no friends), here’s a look at five TV shows that will help you ring in 2014. As always, check your local listings for start times.
Note: You’ll need to get your own champagne for when the clock strikes midnight.
Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest (City, ABC)
The granddaddy of New Year’s Eve celebrations still bears the name of the late Dick Clark, but it’s Ryan Seacrest who will be front and centre for the six-hour marathon of festivities, along with Jenny McCarthy in Times Square (hope she got her flu vaccination if she’s going to be outside all night) and Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas in Los Angeles. Musical guests include Billy Joel, Blondie, Fall Out Boy and Miley Cyrus. Miley on live television twerking as the ball drops? Count us in.
ET Canada’s New Year’s Eve at Niagara Falls (Global)
Against the backdrop of our country’s most famous tourist attraction outside of the giant goose in Wawa, Ont., ET Canada hosts Cheryl Hickey, Rick Campanelli and Sangita Patel will welcome musical guests Serena Ryder, the Sam Roberts Band and Demi Lovato during this 2-1/2-hour blitz of glitz. The show will also include Celine Dion performing a song via satellite from her Las Vegas show, where she’ll be celebrating the night with people who wisely fled to warmer climes.
NBC’s New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly (NBC)
He’s no Dick Clark, but given a choice between spending six hours with Ryan Seacrest and two hours with Carson Daly, Carson might just get the nod. Joining him will be a roster of guests including Mariah Carey, Angela Kinsey (The Office) and, in the interests of cross-promotion with NBC’s The Voice, singer/coach Blake Shelton and previous winners Cassadee Pope and Tessanne Chin.
New Year’s Eve Live (Fox)
Mario Lopez, who appears to sip from the same fountain of youth that sustained Dick Clark for so many decades, will host Fox’s countdown special from Las Vegas. Weirdly, Fox might have the most eclectic musical lineup, with hip-hop star J. Cole, electropop trio Krewella, rockers New Politics and Las Vegas’s own Panic! At the Disco.
Air Farce: New Year’s Eve 2013 (CBC)
For those who are grey of beard and blue of rinse, some on-the-nose yuks can be had with the Air Farce crew’s year-end show, with special guests Col. Chris Hadfield, singer Serena Ryder (again!), nerve-grating Hockey Night in Canada blabber P.J. Stock and Steve Smith as his alter ego Red Green. Best of all, the show is on really early for those who have to work in the morning and can’t stay up until midnight. So keep it down, whippersnappers.