As New York has emerged as an epicenter of a new Covid wave driven by the highly contagious Omicron variant, the city has been gripped by skyrocketing infection rates that have shut down Broadway and have led to the cancellation of most in-person events.
That includes Fox’s New Year’s Eve Toast & Roast 2022. The network earlier this week pulled the plug on the special, noting that, even with strict health protocols, “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.”
ABC, which airs the most established New Year’s special, Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest, took a wait and see approach, looking to New York City for guidance about the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square. NY Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that the city will be proceeding with the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop but with fewer revelers and tighter rules, including masks and social distancing.
In light of the decision by the city to keep the celebration on, ABC is proceeding with Rockin’ Eve 2022 while adhering to CDC/local protocols regarding audience attendees in Times Square. Last year, the special went on with just small pods of first responders in attendance.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. The show, hosted by Seacrest from Times Square, will feature Rockin’ Eve‘s first Spanish language countdown, with Puerto Rico as the inaugural host destination. The special is produced by MRC Live and Alternative.