BY HAL BOEDEKER, ORLANDO SENTINEL
It’s that time of year again when the networks compete to put on the best New Year’s Eve countdown. And part of the fun is that these New Year’s Eve specials tend to sprawl.
The one that sprawls the most, in time and title, is “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2020” on ABC. It starts at 8 p.m. Tuesday, breaks for local news at 11, resumes at 11:30 and goes until 2:13 a.m.
Post Malone will perform just before the ball drops in Times Square, where Seacrest and Lucy Hale will host. The ABC lineup includes BTS, Sam Hunt and Alanis Morissette, who performs with the Broadway cast of “Jagged Little Pill.” Jonas Brothers will usher in 2020 from Miami.
Also for ABC, Billy Porter hosts from New Orleans, where Sheryl Crow and Usher will sing. Ciara hosts the West Coast party segments, which feature Paula Abdul, Kelsea Ballerini, Dan + Shay, Green Day and many others. Country singer Jessie James Decker will announce the First Powerball Millionaire of the Year soon after midnight.
CNN counters with Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen hosting at 8 p.m. from Times Square for the third year in a row. The evening’s most freewheeling hosts will welcome Christina Aguilera, Lenny Kravitz, Shania Twain, Patti LaBelle, Keith Urban, 50 Cent, the Chainsmokers and comedian-actress Dulce Sloan. At 12:30 a.m. Brooke Baldwin and Don Lemon take over from Nashville, Tenn.
CNN will draw on reporters Stephanie Elam, Randi Kaye, Richard Quest, Bill Weir and Gary Tuchman. The backdrops range from the Brady Bunch House to Key West.
Steve Harvey headlines “Fox’s New Year’s Eve” from Times Square for the third year in a row. He starts at 8 p.m., breaks for local news at 10, returns at 11 and wraps up at 12:30 a.m. His fellow hosts are Maria Menounos and former NFL star Rob Gronkowski.
The Fox talent lineup includes LL Cool J featuring DJ Z-Trip, Village People, the Chainsmokers, the Lumineers, Florida Georgia Line, the Backstreet Boys, Tyga and the Killers. Gordon Ramsay, Will Arnett and Jenna Dewan will make cameos.
“NBC’s New Year’s Eve 2020” will be hosted by Carson Daly, Julianne Hough and tWitch. They start at 10 p.m., break for local news at 11, resume at 11:30 p.m. and finish at 12:30 a.m. The talent lineup includes Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, Keith Urban, Ne-Yo, Brett Eldredge, Leslie Odom Jr., X Ambassadors and the Struts.
NBC starts prime time with “A Toast to 2019!” at 8 p.m. Tuesday. Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager host the two-hour special that features Kristen Bell, Martin Short, Maya Rudolph, Tony Hale, Terry Crews, Nikki Glaser and many others.
On PBS, “New York Philharmonic New Year’s Eve 2019” will celebrate Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim. The “Live From Lincoln Center” broadcast starts at 8 p.m. and runs 90 minutes. Tony winner Katrina Lenk, who headlines a Broadway revival of “Company” next year, will be guest vocalist. The philharmonic will perform suites from “Sunday in the Park With George,” “Into the Woods” and “Sweeney Todd.”