For the past decade, CNN has done its New Years Eve program a bit differently by not having musical performances in contrast to its broadcast and Fox News competitors. New Years Eve Live largely filled the time with banter between co-hosts Kathy Griffin (who was fired earlier this year) and Anderson Cooper, alongside reports from across the nation and world by CNN correspondents. In addition to having a new host, this year promises to be slightly different with several stars making a scheduled appearance.
Cooper has announced that comedian Dave Chappelle and singer John Mayer will appear as guests. Cohen has announced that singers Celine Dion and Keith Urban and actress Amy Sedaris will also make an appearance.
This is not Celine Dion’s first appearance as she performed during the show in 2004.
CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer also announced that he will appear with a musical appearance during the show. This will be Blitzer’s first time appearing on the program, but not his first time being part of it. In 2008, he called into the show to talk to Kathy Griffin.
New Years Eve Live has typically been a ratings success for CNN, in large part due to Griffin and Cooper. How ratings will be impacted by Cohen’s arrival remains to be seen, but CNN is clearly looking to add some elements of more traditional New Years Eve fare. On television, the dominant program by far is ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin Eve.