What to Watch New Year's Weekend: Your Guide to 10 Specials, a Fierce Football Finale and More

FERGIE, RYAN SEACREST, JENNY MCCARTHYWell before and right up until the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, there is TV to be had as you prepare to bid adieu to 2-0-1-2. There’s a serious face-off in the Sunday Night Football season finale, a fresh slab of bacon-themed programming, a Herculean marathon and then countdown specials for every stripe of viewer out there. Here are the programs we have singled out, in 10…! 9…! 8…! 7….

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 30

7:30 pm Call the Midwife Holiday Special (PBS) | In this 90-minute episode, Nurse Jenny Lee tries to find the children of an elderly vagrant and Chummy plans an ambitious nativity play.

8:20 pm Sunday Night Football (NBC) | The franchise’s 26th season heads for the end zone as the Cowboys — who need to win to play in the postseason — visit the Redskins.

10 pm United States of Bacon (Destination America) | Chef Todd Fisher tackles another kind of pigskin in this new series, as he traverses America in search of the most mouth-watering, sensory-overloading bacon creations out there.

10 pm How It’s Made (Science) | What will be the 1,000th product demystified during this momentous episode: cycling shoes, yurts, marine plywood or encaustic paint? (And do I have to know what encaustic paint is before I find out how it’s created?)

MONDAY, DECEMBER 31

8 pm – 6 am Hercules: The Legendary Journeys marathon (The Hub) | If your 2012 just didn’t have enough Kevin Sorbo in it, make up for lost time with 10 back-to-back episodes of the fantasy-action series.

8 pm New Year’s Rockin’ Eve Celebrates Dick Clark (ABC) | In this two-hour preface to ABC’s countdown show, Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas and Love in the Wild‘s Jenny McCarthy look at the career of the legendary TV producer and personality, who passed away in April.

8 pm Live from Lincoln Center (PBS) | Private Practice‘s Audra McDonald hosts One Singular Sensation, The New York Philharmonic’s live tribute to Marvin Hamlisch (who, before his death in August, was scheduled to conduct the concert). Megan Hilty (Smash) and Raúl Esparza (Law & Order: SVU) are scheduled to perform.

PREVIEW | Mob Doctor Boss Teases New Year’s Eve Bones ‘Crossover’ Episode

10 pm New Year’s Eve With Carson Daly (NBC) | Voice victor Cassadee Pope, Train and The Office‘s Angela Kinsey join Daly for the annual countdown to the new year, broadcast from New York’s Times Square. (The special pauses for local news at 11 pm, then resumes at 11:30.)

10 pm Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2013 (ABC) | Ryan Seacrest and Jenny McCarthy bid the old year adieu from New York — for the first time without Clark’s presence — while Fergie leads revelers in Los Angeles. (The special pauses for local news at 11 pm, then resumes at 11:30.)

10 pm New Year’s Eve With Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin (CNN) | The title says it all. (Check out some of the duo’s greatest hits.)

11 pm New Year’s Eve Live! (Fox) |X Factor champ Tate Stevens, musical group Lifehouse, Carmen Electra (Baywatch) and host Marlon Wayans (In Living Color) lead an evening of entertainment broadcast from Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.

11 pm All-American New Year (Fox News Channel) | Pat Benatar, Sarah Brightman and the cast of the musical Million Dollar Quartet join Bill Hemmer, Megyn Kelly and other FNC personalities.

11 pm MTV’s Club NYE 2013 (MTV) | Hosts: Jersey Shore‘s Jenni “JWOWW” Farley and Money From Strangers‘ Jeff Dye. Performers: Ke$ha, Ne-Yo, Sean Kingston, Rita Ora and Conor Maynard. Me: Too old.

11:30 pm Eric Andre’s LIVE New Year’s Eve Spooktacular (Adult Swim) | The comedian brings in celebrity guests like X Factor‘s Demi Lovato, The Apprentice‘s Omarosa and Hercules‘ Kevin Sorbo for a classic countdown with a few twists (competitive eating, marching bands and the like).

Hit the comments with your picks from the New Year’s weekend lineup!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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38 Comments
  1. Kevin says:

    REDSKINS AND COWBOYS!!!!

  2. Sid says:

    Aren’t Fergie and Carmen Electra passe’?

  3. Ash says:

    Don’t forget AMC’s The Walking Dead marathon!

  4. Kerry says:

    Cowboys vs Redskins! But who does a Texas transplant living in DC pull for? Gotta go with RG3 and the Redskins this time.

  5. Adopt a cat! says:

    Pat Benatar and Sarah Brightman on Fox News Channel?! That’s a disappointing revelation about 2 of my favorite singers.

  6. Adam Bramble says:

    Does Once Upon A TIme come on tonight. Can someone confirm?

  7. ES says:

    Kathy & Anderson are fun since they are actually live and always willing to push it to the limit, well Kathy is. Wonder if it will be the same now that Anderson is fully out and she can’t dance around that anymore.

  8. Kim R says:

    Anderson and Kathy, no contest. :)

  9. madbengalsfan85 says:

    Cowboys-Redskins!!!

  10. Garry A. says:

    From 11;00 a.m. New Years Eve to 2;00 a.m. New Years Day, the INSP Network is doing a Matlock Marathon. It’s channel 259 on Dish Network.

  11. Jenny says:

    You have to love the fact that one of the headliners of the Fox News “All American” special is a Brit. They’ve already got their facts wrong and the show is over 72 hours away. Lol. How did they convince poor Sarah Brightman to do that? Rupert Murdoch must have found something good when he hacked her phone.

    • Jenny says:

      I meant 36 hours away. Lol. I should work for Fox News. I can’t get my facts straight either.

    • James says:

      I’m going to watch the fox news special. They’ve set up a “fiscal cliff” in times square on the top of one of the buildings. At midnight John Boehner is going to throw some poor and middle class people off of it. That’s way more fun than some apple dropping!

  12. Jim says:

    I’m guessing Kathy griffin will ring in the new year with even more jokes on the Palin kids. That’s pretty much all she does. Not really a talented person.

    • Jay says:

      Kathy Griffin sucks! Nothing she does has ever been funny to me and she looks terrible. Why is she even a celebrity in the first place?

  13. Richard says:

    Sunday:
    Sugar Dome – Food Network – 8 p.m.
    Iron Chef America – Food Network – 9 p.m.
    Shahs of Sunset – Bravo – 10 p.m.
    Monday:
    The Next Great Baker – TLC – 9 p.m.

  14. nick1372 says:

    There’s a Betty White’s Off Their Rockers mini-marathon on New Year’s Day from 8-11.

  15. VOXPOP says:

    g-d i will be glad when this is all over so we can go back to watching tv again.

  16. Sam says:

    I can’t decide between NBC and ABC. I can’t stand Cassadee Pope but she might be more tolerable than Jenny McCarthy and Fergie. Seacrest and Daly are pretty equal for me so it doesn’t matter much there. I wish we got CNN to be honest.

    • Jay says:

      ABC or NBC, it doesn’t matter. They’re both better than FOX at this thing! As for CNN, I’ve done my own research on the ‘net; if you live in any one of those cities, you don’t need cable. Lucky bastard!

  17. icywinter2 says:

    I haven’t watched New Year’s eve with Ryan Seacreast at all. It’s basically geared toward the teenaged crowd, with all the untalented annoying pop stars. I refuse to watch that on tv, Dick Clark always did a better job than Seacreast

  18. Anonymous says:

    Dick Clark picked Ryan. Loved Dick Clark. Watched him on American Bandstand. Dick made the right choice with picking Ryan. He reminds me of a Dick Clark when he was younger. He is doing a great job. Happy New Year Ryan!

  19. this blog is so good i would come here every day

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