×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Ryan Seacrest, Jenny McCarthy on Post Malone, Hosting Highs and What to Expect New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve will be warmer and wetter than last year’s festivities in New York City, but hosts Ryan Seacrest and Jenny McCarthy are prepared for all conditions as they get ready to take center stage in Times Square. ABC’s “Dick Clark’s  New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” airs on Dec. 31 live starting at 8 p.m. east coast time.

“The theme last year was ‘Frozen,’ the theme this year is a little more mild, but wet,” Seacrest tells Variety. “So we will be thinking about precipitation and survival throughout the course of the night as we always do.”

This year marks the 47th anniversary of the annual celebration in Times Square and the lineup will feature a diverse slate of performers, including country duo Dan + Shay, Bastille, New Kids on the Block and Christina Aguilera, who is returning to the Times Square stage for a second time since last appearing in 2007  to perform a medley of hits right before the ball drops at midnight.

NKOTB is also coming back to the stage for an encore, having last performed in 2010 with The Backstreet Boys. McCarthy remembers it well — it was her first time hosting NYE and she got a thrill when future husband Donnie Wahlberg called to her as he was going to the stage to  be interviewed by Seacrest, yelling “Hey, Jenny McCarthy!”

“There has been a buzz in my house, because the first year I hosted he performed… and that was the first time we met,” she says. “It’s so sweet that he is performing again, and I still get to kiss him at midnight this year.”

The rest of the lineup in Hollywood, hosted by Ciara, includes Lauren Alaina, Kelsea Ballerini, Bazzi, Kane Brown, Camila Cabello, The Chainsmokers, Ciara, Foster the People, Halsey, Dua Lipa, Ella Mai, Shawn Mendes, Charlie Puth and Weezer, as well as collaborations from Macklemore with Skylar Grey and The Chainsmokers featuring Kelsea Ballerini. Airing just after midnight, Post Malone will perform from Brooklyn, New York, while in the Central time zone , Lucy Hale will host performances from Florida Georgia Line and Maren Morris.

Says Seacrest: “The list of artists that have had a successful 2018 is a long list. Post Malone is the biggest of all-time this year — and he’s on the show.”

As for 2019 resolutions, McCarthy is focused on “self-care” while Seacrest is enjoying a new milestone celebrating the birth of his niece. “I just realized we have the first baby in our family — my sister’s baby — and, [while] I’m pretty comfortable on TV and in those settings, I’m nervous holding this baby,” Seacrest confesses. “So I’m going to go into  uncle training and learn how to sing nursery rhymes, read stories, hold a baby, and look relaxed.”

Asked if there are any new bells and whistles this year, McCarthy says the excitement and surprises that happen every year with live television are always provided during the show, either from the crowd with proposals, interactions with Seacrest or the performers themselves with “buzz worthy moments.”

Seacrest says he is looking forward to featuring the best “YouTube” moments of 2018, since YouTube is on board this year as a sponsor.

Now in his 14th year as host and McCarthy’s ninth tour of duty in Times Square, it begs the question — does it ever get old?

“Never,” says McCarthy. “It’s one of those things I look forward to every single year. I do say a little prayer after last year’s  temperature, it was really, really difficult. It really tested our strengths, I will say it’s a bucket list experience. Even though I’ve done it before, every single year, it’s just a high.”

Adds Seacrest: “I like it because it jumpstarts the fitness and diet program. If  we were off this week again  for the holidays, then I would still be getting sausage Bisquick and cheese.”

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Taylor SwiftMTV Video Music Awards, Arrivals,

    Taylor Swift Joins 'The Voice' Season 17 as a Mentor

    Taylor Swift is returning to “The Voice” as a mega mentor in the upcoming 17th season of the NBC singing competition series. The “Blank Space” singer will offer advice to each team of artists as they prepare for the knockout rounds in the show. Coaches John Legend and Blake Shelton took to Instagram to share [...]

  • Netflix Lands Streaming Rights to 'Seinfeld'

    Netflix Lands Streaming Rights to 'Seinfeld'

    Netflix yada yada yada “Seinfeld.” Variety has confirmed that the streaming giant has landed the global streaming rights to all 180 episodes the genre-defining sitcom. The deal was struck with Sony Pictures Television, which controls the distribution rights to the NBC series. It is a five-year deal which is set to begin in 2021. “’Seinfeld’ [...]

  • Lin-Manuel Miranda

    'Kingkiller Chronicle' Series Not Moving Forward at Showtime, Lionsgate TV to Shop

    The series adaptation of “The Kingkiller Chronicle” is not moving forward at Showtime as planned. Variety has confirmed with sources that Showtime will no longer develop the series, which has been in the works at the premium cabler since October 2017, for financial reasons. Lionsgate Television, which is producing the show, will now shop the [...]

  • Charlie HunnamBleecker Street 'Papillon' Los Angeles

    Charlie Hunnam to Star in ‘Shantaram’ Series at Apple

    Charlie Hunnam has been cast as the lead in the forthcoming Apple series “Shantaram,” based on Gregory David Robert’s novel, Variety has confirmed. Apple has greenlit the show, which will represent the first international production for Apple TV Plus, after acquiring the rights to the novel back in June 2018. The 2003 novel tells the story of [...]

  • Wendy Williams

    ‘The Wendy Williams Show’ Renewed Through 2021-22 Season on Fox Stations

    “The Wendy Williams Show” is set to remain on the air through the 2021-22 season. Fox Television Stations has handed Williams’ eponymous talk show a two-year renewal, extending the live, nationally syndicated show’s decade-long run to 13 seasons. “I’m so excited to launch our 11th year by letting the world know I will continue to [...]

  • Canal Plus

    Netflix, France's Canal Plus Sign Distribution Deal

    France’s Canal Plus Group has sealed a deal to offer Netflix on its platform, joining other pay- and cable-TV providers across Europe in recognizing the demand for access to the U.S. streaming giant. Beginning Oct. 15, subscribers to Canal Plus’ Cine/Series package will gain access to Netflix through Canal Plus’ set-top boxes. The exclusive bundle [...]

  • TV Ratings: Eagles-Falcons Down 18% on

    TV Ratings: Eagles-Falcons Down 18% on 'Sunday Night Football' Opener

    Last night, Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Flacons held off Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles in an interception-filled affair on “Sunday Night Football.” Perhaps unsurprisingly given the stop-start nature of the game, it didn’t perform quite as strongly in the early Nielsen ratings as last week’s “SNF” opener between the New England Patriots and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content