ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest led the way Thursday with its annual countdown to the new year, drawing a 2.4 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic and 8.37 million viewers in the primetime portion of its broadcast in fast affiliate Nielsen Live+Same Day numbers.
Rockin’ Eve’s numbers were steady with last year’s early data, with the 10 p.m. hour growing to 3.1 rating and 10.18M viewers. But other programming last night was mostly down year over year with the festivities in Times Square muted by the pandemic. There were only small groups of socially distanced first responders in the crowd to watch performers including Jennifer Lopez, Cyndi Lauper and Billy Porter ahead of the annual ball drop to ring in 2021.
NBC was second overall last night with its NYE content, airing NBC’s New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly (1.0, 4.41M), down four tenths in the demo from last year. The network said the 11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. portion of last night’s broadcast drew a 1.9 rating with 7 million viewers; other networks’ post-ball drop ratings were not available. NBC’s night started with the two-hour Dateline special Escape From 2020 (0.8, 4.35M).
Fox’s new stab at a NYE show, New Year’s Eve Toast & Roast (0.6, 1.99M) hosted by Ken Jeong and Joel McHale, was off two tenths from the network’s New Year’s Eve With Steve Harvey: Live From Times Square last year.
CBS stayed out of the fray, airing repeats.