Fox has decided against moving forward with its “New Year’s Eve Toast & Roast 2022” production in New York due to the ongoing surge of COVID-19 and its omicron variant. The network announced its shift in plans on Tuesday evening.
“While we are confident in the health and safety protocols for ‘Fox’s New Year’s Eve Toast & Roast 2022,’ the recent velocity of the spread of omicron cases has made it impossible to produce a live special in Times Square that meets our standards,” Fox Entertainment said in a statement. “We will not be moving forward with ‘Fox’s New Year’s Eve Toast & Roast 2022’ in New York. The health and safety of our casts and crews has always been, and will continue to be, of the utmost importance. Replacement programming for New Year’s Eve on Fox will be announced in the coming days.”
Joel McHale and Ken Jeong were set to co-host the program, alongside special correspondent Kelly Osbourne. Musical performances by Billy Idol Imagine Dragons, P!nk, Maroon 5 and others were also on the books for the Dec. 31 telecast through a partnership with iHeartRadio. It remains to be seen whether these names will still be attached to whatever type of production Fox decides to move forward with for its New Year’s Eve event. Insiders close to the event have told Variety that Fox is looking to stage a stripped-down version from a studio with McHale and Jeong, similar to its New Year’s Eve programming last year.
With the cancellation, Fox becomes the first network to announce a major shift in its planned New Year’s Eve programming. NBC is currently set to broadcast a Dec. 31 special from Miami hosted by Miley Cyrus and Pete Davidson. ABC is also proceeding with its annual “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” event, with broadcasts from N.Y.’s Times Square, New Orleans, L.A. and Puerto Rico.