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Clark upbeat after stroke

Too soon to tell if he'll host ABC 'New Year's' spec

Dick Clark has suffered a mild stroke, but the TV legend is still hoping to be in Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

Clark experienced the stroke on Monday and has been hospitalized since then. While it’s too soon to tell if he’ll be able to host his annual “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” spec for ABC, Clark seemed hopeful in a statement released Wednesday.

“The doctors tell me I should be back in the swing of things before too long, so I’m hopeful to be able to make it to Times Square to help lead the country in bringing in the New Year once again,” Clark said.

ABC issued a statement wishing Clark a speedy recovery but declined to discuss potential backup plans should he be unable to host.

Clark has been a New Year’s Eve fixture for 32 years, hosting an annual special that combines live coverage of Gotham’s ball drop with taped musical perfs. In recent years, ABC has expanded the special into primetime, with a 10-11 p.m. preshow airing before the main event.

Last month, Clark wrapped another American Music Awards telecast for ABC. He also produced the Family TV Awards, which will air on the WB Thursday.

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