Originally created 12/25/05

TV Lookout: highlights for the week ahead

Where will you be when 2006 arrives? Tuned to ABC? NBC? Maybe MTV?

For everyone who just can't ring in the new year without TV validating it, networks far and wide are scrambling to serve you.

A sample of programs scheduled for New Year's Eve, to accompany your annual rendition of "Auld Lang Syne":

- ABC: "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve 2006" (10 p.m. EST). It's the 34th year for this New Year's institution, a 3½-hour extravaganza which pairs Clark (absent last year after suffering a stroke) with Ryan Seacrest at Times Square. Also on the bill: a live performance by Mariah Carey. Hilary Duff is host of the West Coast portion.

- NBC: "New Year's Eve with Carson Daly" (11:30 p.m.). Also at Times Square, the "Last Call" host welcomes his special guest, Mary J. Blige.

- Fox: "New Year's Eve Live" (11 p.m.). Daytime king Regis Philbin goes late-night to preside over his version of the Times Square festivities, including music, celebrities and a look back at the events of 2005.

- Fox News Channel: "All American New Year - 2006" (11 p.m.). Hosts Mike Jerrick and Juliet Huddy are based at (where else?) Times Square, with Fox News correspondents covering events across the country and, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Jeff Goldblatt providing coverage of the celebration at New Orleans' Jackson Square.

- MTV: "New Year's Eve Party" (10:30 p.m.). Also airing from Times Square, this annual slice of revelry will feature musical performances by Kanye West, Adam Levine, Shakira and Fall Out Boy.

Other shows to look out for:

- NBC is bookending this holiday week with a pair of ice-skating specials.

Sunday, "Holiday Celebration on Ice - Christmas Day" features Olympic champions Brian Boitano and Ekatarina Gordeeva along with figure-skating champion Todd Eldredge, and musical artists Bruce Hornsby, Josh Gracin, SHeDAISY and Rhonda Vincent. Taped before a live audience at the Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, Va., the two-hour special airs 4 p.m.

Then, at 4 p.m. Saturday, "Kristi Yamaguchi's Friends and Family" is a New Year's Eve special that's not from Times Square. Hosted by Olympic gold medalists Yamaguchi and Scott Hamilton, the show also features Nancy Kerrigan, Ilia Kulik and world champion Kurt Browning, among others, plus singer Kenny Rogers. This two-hour special was taped at the Pepsi Arena in Albany, N.Y.

- Now's the time for reflecting on all that transpired in the past year, and that includes all those TV commercials. TBS presents "Funniest Commercials of the Year: 2005," showcasing the top 10 spots as selected by the public on the TBS Web site. In addition, the program spotlights other humorous commercials from the United States and around the world, as well as recalling amusing commercials from years past. Hosted by Kevin Nealon, it airs 9 p.m. Wednesday.

- Here's a miniseries in many ways. Aimed at little kids as well as the rest of the family, the two-part "Sesame Street" follows everybody's favorite fowl, Big Bird, as he learns what it's like to be a little guy: Mistakenly transformed into Little Big Bird, he's suddenly the size of a hen's egg! To help him regain his original size, he enlists the help of a new friend, Mike the ladybug, who helps Big Bird to a lesson in self-esteem. Alicia Keys is also on hand for a duet with Elmo. Part of PBS Kids, this "Sesame Street" two-parter airs Thursday and Friday (check local listings).


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