Who needs friends when you can get drunk New Year’s Eve with Ryan Seacrest? Or ring in 2010 with Carson Daly? Or watch the ball drop alongside Carmen Electra?
“Dick Clark’s Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2010” (KOAT-7 9 to 10 p.m., 11:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.)
Contents: Dick Clark might be on hand for a minute or two, but it’s all up to Ryan to help rock in the New Year. Fergie is handling hosting duties out in Vegas (the new Hollywood). “GMA” special correspondent Melissa Rycroft reports from Times Square. Special Guests: The Black Eyed Peas, Selena Gomez, Daughtry, Justin Bieber, Colbie Caillat, Robin Thicke, Jennifer Lopez. Audience: Tween girls, their mothers, anyone who isn’t sick of the Black Eyed Peas at this point, people who couldn’t get into the party at T.G.I. Friday’s.
“New Year’s Eve With Carson Daly” (KOB-4 9 to 10 p.m., 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.)
Contents: Carson Daly does it much the same as Ryan Seacrest, but with a touch less smarm. Natalie Morales and Allison Stewart are stuck on winter coat duty in Times Square. Special Guests: Green Day, Rihanna, the cast of the Broadway musical Hair. Audience: Slightly more sophisticated hipsters who have outgrown Dick Clark, but still want to watch the ball drop.
“Billboard’s New Year’s Eve Live” (KASA-2 11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.)
Contents: FOX parties like it’s 1999, hiring “Baywatch” babe Carmen Electra to host this poolside party live from the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. Kim Kardashian stops by, and Eva Longoria Parker takes us on a tour of her Las Vegas “Latin steak house” Beso—all of which only heightens the B-list paparazzi vibe. Special Guests: “American Idol” winner Kris Allen (oh yeah, Adam Lambert lost), fellow “American Idol” top 10-er Allison Iraheta, reggae-fusion rapper Sean Kingston. Audience: TMZ.com addicts for whom 2009 consisted entirely of nipple slips, MTV reality shows and Tiger Woods stories.
“The Graham Norton Show: New Year’s Eve Special” (BBC America 6 to 7 p.m.)
Contents: The Beeb’s hilarious, frequently anarchic chat show host interviews a couple of stars and looks back on 2009 with the help of Joan Rivers. Special Guests: Sarah Jessica Parker, Dominic West, Joan Rivers. Audience: Married, middle-aged non-hipsters who’ve never heard of any of the bands playing any of the other specials.
“TNA iMPACT! New Year’s Knockout Eve” (Spike 5 to 9 p.m.)
Contents: Spike airs two special episodes of “TNA iMPACT!” dedicated entirely to the Knockouts—that’s the Total Nonstop Action wrestling league’s equivalent to World Wrestling Entertainment’s the Divas. In other words: It’s a bunch of babes in Spandex beating on one another. Need I say more? Special Guests: ODB, Daffney, Madison Rayne, Sojournor Bolt, Sarita, Taylor Wilde, Angelina Love, Velvet Sky. Audience: Lonely dudes lookin’ for some bikini-clad company on NYE.