Seacrest and Daly Usher in '07
They'll perform similar holiday duties for different networks again Sunday, Dec. 31. For the second consecutive year, "American Idol" host and "E! News" co-anchor Seacrest will join the title host for the perennial ABC special "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve," while the late-late night star of "Last Call With Carson Daly" offers his third annual edition of "NBC's New Year's Eve With Carson Daly."
As usual, both programs will be based largely in New York's Times Square and heavy on music. Daly will showcase the group Panic! At the Disco, while Seacrest and Clark will present Christina Aguilera, Rascal Flatts and the cast of the Broadway musical "Jersey Boys."
The traditional "Hollywood party" segments of Clark's show will feature Fergie, Natasha Bedingfield, Meat Loaf and RBD. Just before midnight, though, everyone's focus will turn to the illuminated globe as it descends to launch 2007.
"We've gotta make it bigger, we've gotta make it better," Seacrest says of the ABC show, which begins with a prime-time hour and resumes after local late news.
"I had a chance to live through it last year and work with Dick, and it did very well, which was great. This year, we started the prep process sooner and took meetings on how we'd build the show earlier. These shows happen for only a certain number of hours one night per year, but the preparation with live acts and Times Square takes a lot of legwork."
While NBC remains Daly's main network, his New Year's Eve show will define the term "multiplatform": It will be simulcast on MSNBC, Bravo and NBC.com -- which all will run a half-hour preshow, too -- as well as CNBC.
"It's really about the exposure, not limiting it," Daly explains. "Farther down the road, I'd imagine we'll attempt to make the Internet broadcast a little more unique unto itself. Right now, it's OK just to get the most eyeballs on what you're doing, but my goal would be to give the most unique viewing experience to each of the various platforms."
Last year, a major element of "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" was Clark's return to television for the first time since his stroke.
"I stayed somewhat deferential," Seacrest explains, "because it was my first time on board, and his company had been doing this for a long time. I said to him last year, and I said to him again several weeks ago, 'I'm here for you, to do what you want me to. You and I will have a dialogue throughout this whole process, up until and after we're off the air.' We have an even closer relationship this year."
As he did 12 months ago, MTV alumnus Daly acknowledges the interest in Clark's health, yet he feels many networks' New Year's Eve efforts share the basics.
"The Times Square Alliance actually does throw a party there, so the backdrop is really happening," Daly says. "No one network is making that possible. You want to talk to the mayor, you want to talk to the police chief, you want to hear about the preparations for the night. By the time you've covered a few important stories, the ball drops."