You’ve been around awhile, folks, if you think of New Year’s Eve and you think of Guy Lombardo instead of Dick Clark.
Yes, it’s time for “the world’s oldest teenager” to ring in the New Year with “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve ‘97” (ABC at 11:35).
In his 25th New Year’s special, Clark counts down the final seconds of 1996 from Times Square. Stacey Dash and Donald Faison (“Clueless”) introduce musical guests KISS, Jann Arden, The Presidents of the United States of America, The Tony Rich Project and “Weird Al” Yankovic.
But wait just a minute. Clark doesn’t exactly own New Year’s Eve.
The night of special programming (see below) also includes FOX’s “Sinbad’s Dynamite New Year’s Eve” at 11.
Sinbad hosts his special from the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev., with guests Hootie and the Blowfish, The Doobie Brothers and Salt-n-Pepa, plus Vegas acts Cirque du Soleil and Siegfried & Roy.
The FOX special also includes a report from Miami, where demolition experts will “implode” the Hacienda Hotel, a Las Vegas landmark since 1956.
Sorry Dick, we give Sinbad the nod tonight. Happy New Year, everyone!
“Football,” CBS at 7: Nebraska (10-2) takes on Virginia Tech (10-1) in the Orange Bowl in Miami.
“Nova,” KSPS at 7: “Cracking the Ice Age” answers questions about the most recent ice age - 18,000 years ago. The search for clues, oddly enough, begins on the ocean floor.
“Revenge of the Nerds IV: Nerds in Love” (1994), FOX at 8: Booger (Curtis Armstrong) and Jeanie (Corinne Bohrer) plan their nerdy wedding in this TV movie. But her politically ambitious father (Joseph Bologna) and devious brother-in-law (Stephen Davies) plot to derail the nuptials.
Sophomoric in every detail, it’s mindless, only mildly humorous fluff. Robert Carradine heads the list of “Nerd” alumni who co-star. Repeat.
“Frasier,” NBC at 9: In one of the best episodes ever, Niles poses as Daphne’s husband to fool an old boyfriend (Scott Atkinson). That means Frasier must pretend to be Niles; Roz becomes Maris and, oh my, what laughs!
“Merv Griffin’s New Year’s Eve Special,” ABC at 1:05 a.m.: Guests include Aretha Franklin, the Brian Setzer Orchestra, jazz master Jack Sheldon and Katey Sagal (“Married … With Children”). If you’ve never heard Sagal sing, it’s worth staying up for.
“Top 100 of 1996 Countdown,” MTV at 1 p.m. Rock around the clock all the way to midnight with MTV VJs Simon Rex, John Sencio, Kennedy, Idalis and Bill Bellamy. Also dropping in are film and television stars Drew Barrymore, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Laura Dern, Lauren Holly and others.
MTV has coverage from Times Square, followed by an hour of the year’s top live concert performances. (MTV repeats the marathon New Year’s Day beginning at 8 a.m.)
“Flash Forward,” DISN at 7: Disney previews two episodes of the upcoming series about two eighth-graders (Ben Foster, Jewel Staite). Then it’s a flashback with two episodes each of “Square Pegs,” “Room 222,” “Gidget” and “Our Miss Brooks.”
“Comics Come Home,” COM at 6: A gaggle of comedians pitches in to benefit families of patients undergoing cancer treatment at Boston’s New England Medical Center. Jonathan Katz (“Dr. Katz”), Lenny Clarke (“The John Larroquette Show”) and Anthony Clark (“Boston Common”) are among the comics. Scheduled via satellite are Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien and Woody Harrelson.
“This Year in Country Music ‘96,” TNN at 7 and 11: Lorianne Crook and Charlie Chase review the past 12 months of country music.
“New Year’s Eve Live at Sea World,” TNN at 8: Country stars Wynonna and Bryan White ring in the New Year in a 90-minute music special.
“Tonight,” NBC at 11:35: An all-performance New Year’s Eve show includes comedian Carrot Top, magician Brett Daniels, Miss Piggy and musical group Tony Toni Tone. Host Jay Leno’s wife Mavis also is a scheduled guest. Live.
“Late Show With David Letterman,” CBS at 11:35: Actor Tom Arnold.
“Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” NBC at 12:35 a.m.: Musical guest Bare Naked Ladies.
Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter
Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter.