What to Watch on New Year’s Eve: NYC ball drop, Raleigh’s acorn drop and more


New Year’s Eve Live with Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen (8 p.m., CNN) - Anderson Cooper is back to ring in the new year, joined by co-host Andy Cohen. The two will be live in New York’s Time Square. CNN’s Don Lemon usually reports from the crowd and is almost always plastered by midnight, which can make for entertaining viewing.

New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest (8 p.m., ABC) - The primetime version of this show, hosted by Ryan Seacrest, comes from Los Angeles and New York with performances by Dan + Shay and New Kids on the Block. After a break for ABC11’s local news, the show will resume at 11:30 and run until some time after 2 a.m. NOTE: ABC11 will stream the acorn drop live on Facebook and on abc11.com. On-air, you can see New York’s ball drop and Raleigh’s Acorn drop at the same time.

A Toast to 2018 (8 p.m., NBC) - Hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb are joined by Chrissy Metz, Jaimie Alexander, Howie Mandel, Melissa Rivers, Ryan Eggold, Savannah Guthrie, Giuliana Rancic, Jason Kennedy, Wanda Sykes and others to discuss memorable events of 2018.

Fox’s New Year’s Eve with Steve Harvey (8 p.m., Fox) - Steve Harvey and co-host Maria Menounos ring in 2019 live from Times Square in New York, with celebrity appearances from Ken Jeong and Kenan Thompson. Musical performances by Sting, Robin Thicke, Florence + the Machine and Jason Aldean. This ends at 10 p.m. for the local news and then picks back up at 11.

First Night Raleigh 2016 7pm acorn drop for families with children was lit with fireworks promptly as the ball dropped at 7pm on the plaza on Fayetteville Street Thursday evening, December 31, 2015. Thousands of families with kids came out for the countdown, good music and fireworks and weren’t disappointed as Thursday’s rains let up late afternoon just in time for a dry First Night Raleigh 2016 celebration in downtown Raleigh, NC. Staff file photo The News & Observer

Countdown to 2019 (8 p.m., Fox News) - Griff Jenkins and Carley Shimkus wait for 2019 with Tomi Lahren, Britt McHenry, Jedediah Bila and George “Tyrus” Murdoch, from New York, Miami, Nashville and New Orleans.

Live from Lincoln Center (9 p.m., PBS / UNC-TV) - The New York Philharmonic — with Renée Fleming — celebrate New Year’s Eve with waltzes and polkas by Johann Strauss II and works by Stephen Sondheim, Kander & Ebb and Alexandre Desplat.

NBC’s New Year’s Eve (10 p.m., NBC) - Carson Daly, Chrissy Teigen, Leslie Jones and Keith Urban emcee the countdown to the new year, live from Time Square in New York and from Nashville. There will be musical performances and surprise guests and of course, the ball drop at midnight. This is the show where Urban will perform his annual tribute to musical artists we lost during the year.

All American New Year (10 p.m., Fox) - Pete Hegseth and Lisa Kennedy Montgomery co-host the countdown to 2019 live from New York, Miami, Nashville and New Orleans.

WRAL First Night Raleigh Celebration (11:30 p.m., WRAL) - Instead of going to back to NBC’s national coverage, WRAL will extend its 11 p.m. newscast to report live from downtown Raleigh’s First Night celebration. Ken Smith, Kathryn Brown and Bryan Mims will usher in the new year and you can watch the giant acorn drop. After the drop, WRAL will go back to NBC’s national show.

Austin City Limits Hall of Fame New Year’s Special (11:30 p.m., PBS / UNC-TV) - Chris Isaak hosts the induction of Ray Charles, Los Lobos and Marcia Ball into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame. Performers include Boz Scaggs, Gary Clark Jr. and Norah Jones.

Some programming descriptions are provided by networks.