Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Let Billy Porter soundtrack your New Year’s Rockin’ Eve

Billy Porter
Billy Porter
Photo: Steven Ferdman / Stringer (Getty Images)

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Tuesday, December 31. All times are Eastern. 


Top pick

Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2020 (ABC, 8 p.m. onwards): If any day is a day to channel-surf, it is New Year’s Eve. Most of the networks evict their typical programming in favor of hours-long specials in which famous people of varying levels of skills and charisma wear coats and shout into microphones endlessly, occasionally tossing things over to a live musical performance—some of them pretty disastrous—or an awkward check-in with local news. But this year, at least one of those specials has a big advantage over the others, and that advantage’s name is The Legendary Billy Porter.

Porter is hosting the Central Time Zone leg of the special, meaning Seacrest and new co-host Lucy Hale will be tossing to his party in New Orleans from time to time (and also to Ciara, out in Los Angeles). But even the occasional Billy Porter is better than no Billy Porter at all, so apologies to Steve Harvey and Maria “Noovie” Menounos at Fox, Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen at CNN, and Carson Daly at NBC, but advantage: Seacrest.

Regular coverage

Wild card

The Degenerates (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., complete second season): Alternately, you could just watch an extremely NSFW stand-up series.

This season features “six new wild and unfiltered sets from Adrienne Iapalucci, Donnell Rawlings, Jim Norton, Nikki Glaser, Ms. Pat, and Robert Kelly.” See you in 2020!

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!