New Year's Eve TV: What will you be watching?

For those staying in for New Year’s this year, there’s plenty of ball-dropping excitement to be had in the comfort of your own home. In fact, there are so many options available, it’s hard to choose just one. Below are some good bets for channel surfing your way into 2010.

Note: The award for Craziest Cable Counterprogramming goes to TLC and its “Night of Sexual Taboo” featuring My Husband’s 3 Wives (7 p.m.), Forbidden Love: Polygamy (8 p.m.), Anatomy of Sex (9 p.m.), Strange Sex (10 p.m.), Forbidden Love: Polygamy (11 p.m.), Forbidden Love: Geisha (midnight), Mother Knows Sex (1 a.m.), and Purity Balls (2 a.m.).

Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2010: ABC begins with a one-hour prime-time special at 10 p.m. ET, returns at 11:30 p.m. to prep for the ball to drop, and continues to party through 2:05 a.m. In addition to Seacrest and special correspondent Melissa Rycroft, you get Fergie hosting the Las Vegas bash. Daughtry will perform four songs, and Jennifer Lopez will “sing her hits” from Times Square. The Black Eyed Peas, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Keri Hilson, Colbie Caillat, Orianthi and Robin Thicke will take the stage in Sin City.

NBC’s New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly: Wait! Keep reading! This year’s two-hour special (10 – 11 p.m., 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. ET) has Green Day and Jay-Z, who’ll join Rihanna for “Umbrella” and “Run This Town” and premiere his new video, “On To The Next One.”

New Year’s Eve with Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin: Live TV is always unpredictable, but never more so than when you put Kathy “knock the d’s out of your mouth” Griffin in Times Square. In addition to coverage of various New York events, we’ll get reports from bashes in Las Vegas, Honolulu, and Key West.

Billboard’s New Year’s Eve Live!: Something tells us this Carmen Electra-hosted Fox bash (11 p.m. ET) might be Michael Slezak’s choice. Kris Allen and Allison Iraheta perform live in Las Vegas, along with Sean Kingston.

Fox News: All American New Year: Bill Hemmer and Megyn Kelly host from New York, with “some of the hottest musical guests” (Diamond Rio, Lee Greenwood, and Matt Goss). With special appearances from Miss America 2009 and The USO Singers.

MTV News Presents: Top 9 of ’09: Apparently, it’s a countdown of the year’s most memorable moments, hosted by Adrienne Bailon and the cast of Jersey Shore. We’re not even kidding.

Red Bull: New Year. No Limits: Following the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, ESPN covers daredevil Travis Pastrana’s attempt at the world record for longest distance jump in a rally car (over the Pacific Ocean) live at approximately 11 p.m. ET. We imagine you can catch it again on SportsCenter at midnight.

NHL Winter Classic Eve Special: Bill Patrick, Keith Jones, and Brian Engblom host this 90-minute VERSUS event live from a remote studio atop Fenway Park, the location for the third annual outdoor game between the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers on New Year’s Day.

Burn Notice marathon: USA preps for the show’s January return with a 24-hour marathon starting at 6 a.m. on Dec. 31. Love this show. Give it a go if you haven’t.

Three Stooges marathon: Starts at 7 a.m. ET Dec. 31 and doesn’t stop until 6 a.m. Jan 1 on AMC.

Doctor Who marathon: Begins when the ball drops and continues through 10 p.m. Jan. 2 on BBC America.

South Park marathon: Starts at 9 p.m. ET and finishes at 5 a.m. on Comedy Central (after back-to-back showings of South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut at 1 a.m. and 3 a.m.).

Ghost Lab marathon: From 9 a.m. ET Dec. 31 through 3 a.m. on Discovery.

Rocky marathon: The first five films in the franchise play on loop from the moment the ball drops through 3 a.m. Jan 2 on Encore.

Hung marathon: Nice, HBO. From the moment the ball drops, through 5:25 a.m. Jan. 1.

Nora Roberts’ Northern Lights: We’re guessing Eddie Cibrian and LeAnn Rimes will be kissing at midnight, which is when their movie starts on Lifetime.

Twilight Zone marathon: From 8:30 a.m. Dec. 31 through 6 a.m. ET Jan 2 on Syfy.

Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern marathon: From noon Dec. 31 until 3 a.m. ET on the Travel Channel.

Comments (42 total) Add your comment
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  • jmag

    “Fox News: All American New Year: Bill Hemmer and Megyn Kelly host from New York, with “some of the hottest musical guests” (Diamond Rio, Lee Greenwood, and Matt Goss)”–In what universe are these the hottest musical guests? Fox shouldn’t be able to get away with false advertising. “Fair & balanced?” Puh-leese!

    • fiveagainstone

      More like “some of the hottest musical guests you never heard of”.

  • Robert

    TLC and shows without any semblance of redeaming qualities – variations on the saga of Jon and Kate + 8 or are they making sure that a certain superstar golfer is not lonely and bored this new years eve….

    • Carole

      what no Jon and Kate – the final farewell marathon…TLC what are you thinking

    • Jelana

      Wasn’t TLC the network that brought us the obesity marathon on last year’s New Year’s Eve? There is no redeeming value to this, yet, it looks more promising than anything else.

      • Ambient Lite

        Ack! Yes, they DID! I totally watched that.

  • LisaMama

    Our family with be cheering the Mizzou Tigers!

  • Devon

    …OR, if you’re a hockey fan, you can watch the IIHF World Junior Hockey game between Canada and USA for first place in Pool A of this year’s tournament.

  • sally


    • Nic.

      I know!! I can’t believe EW left off CNN. How much fun is it to watch Kathy Griffin embarrass Anderson Cooper? And, will Cathy drop another F-bomb when they come back early from commercial this year?

      • amanda

        umm,you must have been skimming the post too fast,CNN is up there.all shows are listed w/ program titles,it’s New yrs Eve w/ Anderson & Kathy rather than any 360 or CNN tag…i’m tivoing it in case i don’t get home from work to watch the whole show.

  • Zo

    It wouldn’t be New Year’s if I didn’t check out at least some of “The Twilight Zone” on SciFi (I vow to never type their name change!). I love me some Rod Serling!

    • Ephiny

      I agree – it’s become an annual tradition in my house. Although, if I had BBC America I would have to alternate between DW and Twilight Zone. I love them both equally.

  • ger

    Mandi, you win the best use of quotation marks for this: Jennifer Lopez will “sing her hits”.

    Also, Purity Balls sounds dirty.

  • darclyte

    Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin FTW!

  • ks

    Red Bull – Travis kicks! he is so awesome.

  • SS

    Kathy Griffin on CNN, duh.

  • amanda

    i’ll be couinting down w/ anderson & kathy once again…& looking forward to the segment where the shoe drops in key west…psyched about the doctor who marathon also!

  • J28

    Sounds like if your not out celebrating and your infront the tv then ABC is the best choice (although during commericial breaks I might check out Fox to see the 2 Idols perform idk. I’d tune into see Green Day on NBC but I cant stand Carson Daly anymore). I’m looking forward to seeing Daughtry n Orianthi perform.

    • mike

      Green Day was on Last Call for a week last year. So, I guess I can stand Carson Daly if it means more Green Day.

  • Lostforever

    Did they mess this article up? In the headline in mentions Kris Allen and Allison but I don’t see them listed as performing on any of the programs they mention.

  • Lostforever

    sorry found it

  • Lostforever

    I do wonder if I will get to watch New Year’s Eve tonight on Fox, Time Warner is supposed to pull the plug on all Fox shows at midnight.

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