Ryan Seacrest shuns booze during Times Square countdown

The ‘New Year’s Rockin’ Eve’ host was a target of drunken ridicule last year from Andy Cohen on CNN’s rival show.

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Ryan Seacrest speaks last year during the “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” show ushering in 2022.

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Ryan Seacrest isn’t a fan of boozy New Year’s Eve broadcasts.

The host of ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” applauded CNN in an interview with Entertainment Weekly for the network’s decision to reduce drinking on-air, which has led to some live TV antics from CNN co-hosts Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper.

“I don’t advocate drinking when one is on the air. I don’t know how that started as a tradition, but it’s probably a good idea [to scale back],” Seacrest said.

The TV host was the target of New Year’s Eve revelry last year, after Cohen and Anderson took tequila shots during the special. At one point, Cohen dissed Seacrest and his “group of losers performing.”

“I’m sorry, but if you’re watching ABC, you’re watching nothing,” the “Watch What Happens Live” host said. Cohen later regretted the moment, saying on his SiriusXM show “Radio Andy” that he was ”just stupid and drunk and feeling it.”

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Andy Cohen again will co-host CNN’s New Year’s Eve coverage with Anderson Cooper.

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Seacrest said the dig “was I’m sure from the alcohol because, I don’t think they would say what they said about our performers if they weren’t drinking.”

“I think our show’s a bigger, broader show and we will not drink until 1:05 in the morning,” he added. ”Although, I might send them some Casa Dragones Tequila just to tempt them while they’re on the air.”

CNN’s new CEO, Chris Licht has reportedly called for coverage with less booze. Variety says that during a November town hall, Licht expressed to staff “on-camera drinking eroded the credibility of CNN personnel and damaged the ‘respectability’ they may enjoy among viewers.”

Cohen later clarified that nothing about his celebration will change. “What [Licht] said was that he didn’t want the correspondents out there drinking, but that he wanted Anderson and I to do our thing,” the Bravo host told The Hollywood Reporter. “So I’m happy to do our thing. My only directive for years on CNN has been to have fun on New Year’s Eve, and that is absolutely what I plan to do.”

Cohen’s drunken criticism on New Year’s Eve last year was also extended to former New York City mayor Bill de Blasio and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (“You are messing with all of us”). He claimed Journey’s performance on “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” wasn’t an authentic representation of the band since former lead singer Steve Perry was not involved.

Cohen and Cooper’s CNN show will once again compete with Seacrest’s ABC festivities with both broadcasts starting at 7 p.m. Chicago time. Despite the chatter around CNN’s 2021 show, ABC still dominated its competitors with the most viewership, according to the Nielsen company.

Read more at usatoday.com

Chicago New Year’s Eve TV

NEW YEAR’S EVE ON CHICAGO TV

Two local TV stations will offer countdown shows Saturday night ringing in the new year on Central time:

“A Very Chicago New Year” (11:08 p.m., WMAQ-Channel 5) will include performances by Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan (from his tea shop in Highland Park), rock band Everclear and bluesman Wayne Baker Brooks.

Matthew Rodrigues and Cortney Hall of “Chicago Today” host along with Channel 5 anchors Michelle Relerford and JC Navarrete. Stopping by will be “Reno 911” actor Thomas Lennon, rapper Young Gravy and stars of NBC’s hit drama “Chicago Fire.”

“Countdown Chicago” (11:25 p.m., WLS-Channel 7) will unveil the annual dance number led by morning anchor Terrell Brown and meteorologist Cheryl Scott, showing their moves at the Field Museum with a group from Chicago’s Puzzle Box Dance Studio.

The lineup also includes Chicago-born pop star Jeremih performing on a West Loop rooftop. Val Warner, Ryan Chiaverini and Hosea Sanders host along with Brown and Scott.


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