All the weird ways to watch the New Year’s Eve 2023 ball drop

New Year’s Eve. A time for sloughing off the dead skin of the last 12 months and preparing for what lies ahead. Hope, fear, excitement, anxiety — so many emotions come bundled with the arbitrary passage from one year to the next that, for one night at least, it’s probably better to just zone out in front of a television set watching celebrities make fools of themselves while a giant ball covered in crystals and lights slowly descends from a skyscraper flagpole in New York City.

If you’re looking for something to take your mind off 2024 or just want background noise at your New Year’s Eve party, here are a few options:

TIMES SQUARE NEW YEAR’S EVE 2024 WEBCAST

Where to watch: Vimeo, YouTube (closed captioning, ASL interpretation)
When: 6 p.m. ET

What it is: Hosted by Jonathan Bennett (who played Mean Girls love interest Aaron Samuels) and Jeremy Hassell (professional NYE host for the past 10 years), the official New Year’s Eve webcast from Times Square will apparently be commercial-free and full of interviews and assorted behind-the-scenes antics.

The show will also feature one-time The Simpsons guest star Paul Anka (handling the traditional reprise of John Lennon’s “Imagine” right before midnight) and rapper Flo Rida, a “Chinese cultural performance” by the Sino-American Friendship Association, appearances by Ali Krieger, Kelley O’Hara, and Midge Purce of this year’s National Women’s Soccer League champion NJ/NY Gotham FC, and some sort of post-ball drop surprise at 12:04 a.m. ET on January 1.

Where to watch: CBS, Paramount+
When: 7:30 p.m. ET

What it is: If you prefer personalities and musicians who pretend to be cowboys, CBS has got you covered with a show dedicated to the annual, central time zone-focused Music Note Drop in Nashville, Tennessee. But fret not if you don’t want to give up on the east coast entirely, as the Big Bash will periodically check in with the party in New York City as well.

The show’s official schedule boasts over 50 performers, including the likes of Trace Adkins, Grace Bowers, Kane Brown, Jackson Dean, HARDY, Cody Johnson, Parker McCollum, Megan Moroney, Brothers Osborne, Jon Pardi, Carly Pearce, Blake Shelton, Trombone Shorty, Morgan Wallen, Bailey Zimmerman, Old Dominion, King, Thomas Rhett, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Lainey Wilson.

DICK CLARK’S NEW YEAR’S ROCKIN’ EVE WITH RYAN SEACREST

Where to watch: ABC, ABC.com, ABC apps

When: 8 p.m. ET

What it is: Dick Clark passed away more than a decade ago, but the live New Year’s Eve celebration the beloved television personality established in 1972 is still going strong in the capable hands of Ryan Seacrest, host of the festivities since 2006. Seacrest’s co-hosts this year include Rita Ora, Jeannie Mai, and Dayanara Torres.

The prestige awarded by the show’s namesake has historically produced a jam-packed lineup of talent, and 2023 is no exception. Tune in to see performances by Megan Thee Stallion, Post Malone, NewJeans, Jelly Roll, Sabrina Carpenter, Tyla, Aqua, Bebe Rexha, Coco Jones, Doechii, Ellie Goulding, Green Day, Janelle Monáe, Loud Luxury, Ludacris, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Paul Russell, Reneé Rapp, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Two Friends, and Ivy Queen.

NEW YEAR’S EVE LIVE WITH ANDERSON COOPER AND ANDY COHEN

Where to watch: CNN, Max
When: 8 p.m. ET

What it is: CNN anchor Anderson Cooper and Bravo reality television godfather Andy Cohen return for their seventh-straight year hosting live (and sometimes messy) coverage of New Year’s Eve.

“There’s no one I’d rather spend New Year’s Eve with and nowhere I’d rather be at midnight than New York’s Times Square!” Cooper said in a CNN press release, lying through his perfect teeth.

Rather than stay shackled to New York City, CNN’s broadcast will also feature correspondents reporting from the Bahamas; Key West, Florida; Cruces, New Mexico; and Miami, Florida.

Enrique Iglesias, Maroon 5, the Jonas Brothers, Flo Rida, Miranda Lambert, Darius Rucker, and Rod Stewart will hold down the fort when it comes to musical performances, supported by interviews with Patti Labelle, Jeremy Renner, Neil Patrick Harris, Bowan Yang, and Matt Rogers as well as a special appearance by magician David Blaine.

NINJA NYE

Where to watch: Twitch, YouTube, TikTok
When: 8:30 p.m. ET

What it is: After an embarrassing attempt to acquire mainstream cultural relevance performing Fortnite dances for an unamused and rain-drenched Times Square crowd back in 2018, Ninja is ditching the olds with a New Year’s Eve stream marketed entirely toward the zoomer-filled audiences of Twitch, YouTube, and TikTok.

“Ditch your TV and come hang out with us!” the Ninja NYE website reads. “It’ll be more fun… we promise.”

The live show, loudly sponsored by Domino’s Pizza, will feature Ninja and other Twitch personalities like TimTheTatman, SypherPK, DrLupo, BasicallyIDoWrk, and LEGIQN playing Fortnite, Uno, pong, marbles, and more among themselves and with viewers.

Expect lots of over-the-top reactions to mundane events and giveaways.

¡FELIZ 2024!

Where to watch: Univision, ViX
When: 10 p.m. ET

What it is: If the name and network didn’t give it away, ¡Feliz 2024! is a New Year’s Eve broadcast hosted by Univision, the largest Spanish-language television network in the United States.

Much like other year-end shows, Univision’s will cover not only New York City but parties in Los Angeles, California; Miami, Florida; and Mexico as well.

Musical performances include María Becerra, Yng Lvcas, Christian Nodal, Gente de Zona, Guaynaa, Anuel, Becky G, Carin León, Gerardo Ortiz, Pepe Aguilar, and Peso Pluma.