Ryan Seacrest raises a (non-alcoholic) toast to CNN for its decision to cut back on booze during the New Year’s Eve broadcast.
The television personality, longtime host of ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that he believed the network’s move to sober up its coverage was a step in the right direction.
“I don’t recommend drinking when you’re on the air. I don’t know how it started as a tradition, but it’s probably a good idea [to scale back], CNN,” he told the magazine on Monday. “There are some pretty respectable people or at least one, right? I think it’s a serious journalist and then a friend of mine having a lot of fun, but it’s probably a good idea.”
Seacrest’s comments come nearly a year after CNN’s “New Year’s Eve Live” co-host Andy Cohen, along with Anderson Cooper, threw some shade over ABC’s coverage. During CNN’s 2021 broadcast, the “Watch What Happens Live” star referred to ABC’s New Year’s Eve performance as “Ryan Seacrest’s group of losers performing behind us.”
“I mean, with everything it takes [respect], if you’ve been watching ABC tonight, you haven’t seen anything, he added. “Sorry.”
Although Seacrest did not mention Cohen by name, he said the controversial comments were “from the alcohol, because I don’t think they would say what they said about our athletes if they weren’t drinking.” The “American Idol” host touted ABC’s show as “bigger, broader” and said he wasn’t exactly over returning to his programming rivals.
“I might send them some Casa Dragones tequila just to tempt them while they’re on the air,” Seacrest told EW.
Days into 2022, Cohen visited his drunken grave on Seacreast and ABC.
“I really like Ryan Seacrest and he’s a great guy and I really regret saying that,” he said on a January episode of his radio show. “I was just stupid and drunk and feeling it. … I just kept talking, and I shouldn’t have.”
Cohen isn’t the only personality known to get drunk during CNN’s New Year’s Eve broadcast. In the past, Don Lemon has repeatedly gone viral on social media for his various New Year’s Eve shenanigans — from getting his ear pierced while under the influence in 2016 to telling anyone who doesn’t want him to share his “view on TV” to “kiss my behind ” in 2021.
According to Variety, CNN chairman Chris Licht told employees during a town hall meeting in November that the exuberant bragging undermined CNN’s credibility and “respectability.”
CNN’s “New Year’s Eve Celebration,” hosted by Cohen and Cooper, will air live Dec. 31 at 8:00 PM Eastern.
ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest” also airs Dec. 31 at 20.00 in the Eastern and Pacific Oceans.