For those staying in for New Year’s this year, there’s plenty of ball-dropping excitement to be had in the comfort of your own home. In fact, there are so many options available, it’s hard to choose just one. Below are some good bets for channel surfing your way into 2010.
Note: The award for Craziest Cable Counterprogramming goes to TLC and its “Night of Sexual Taboo” featuring My Husband’s 3 Wives (7 p.m.), Forbidden Love: Polygamy (8 p.m.), Anatomy of Sex (9 p.m.), Strange Sex (10 p.m.), Forbidden Love: Polygamy (11 p.m.), Forbidden Love: Geisha (midnight), Mother Knows Sex (1 a.m.), and Purity Balls (2 a.m.).
Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2010: ABC begins with a one-hour prime-time special at 10 p.m. ET, returns at 11:30 p.m. to prep for the ball to drop, and continues to party through 2:05 a.m. In addition to Seacrest and special correspondent Melissa Rycroft, you get Fergie hosting the Las Vegas bash. Daughtry will perform four songs, and Jennifer Lopez will “sing her hits” from Times Square. The Black Eyed Peas, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Keri Hilson, Colbie Caillat, Orianthi and Robin Thicke will take the stage in Sin City.
NBC’s New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly: Wait! Keep reading! This year’s two-hour special (10 - 11 p.m., 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. ET) has Green Day and Jay-Z, who’ll join Rihanna for “Umbrella” and “Run This Town” and premiere his new video, “On To The Next One.”
New Year’s Eve with Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin: Live TV is always unpredictable, but never more so than when you put Kathy “knock the d’s out of your mouth” Griffin in Times Square. In addition to coverage of various New York events, we’ll get reports from bashes in Las Vegas, Honolulu, and Key West.
Billboard’s New Year’s Eve Live!: Something tells us this Carmen Electra-hosted Fox bash (11 p.m. ET) might be Michael Slezak’s choice. Kris Allen and Allison Iraheta perform live in Las Vegas, along with Sean Kingston.
Fox News: All American New Year: Bill Hemmer and Megyn Kelly host from New York, with “some of the hottest musical guests” (Diamond Rio, Lee Greenwood, and Matt Goss). With special appearances from Miss America 2009 and The USO Singers.
MTV News Presents: Top 9 of ‘09: Apparently, it’s a countdown of the year’s most memorable moments, hosted by Adrienne Bailon and the cast of Jersey Shore. We’re not even kidding.
Red Bull: New Year. No Limits: Following the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, ESPN covers daredevil Travis Pastrana’s attempt at the world record for longest distance jump in a rally car (over the Pacific Ocean) live at approximately 11 p.m. ET. We imagine you can catch it again on SportsCenter at midnight.
NHL Winter Classic Eve Special: Bill Patrick, Keith Jones, and Brian Engblom host this 90-minute VERSUS event live from a remote studio atop Fenway Park, the location for the third annual outdoor game between the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers on New Year’s Day.
Burn Notice marathon: USA preps for the show’s January return with a 24-hour marathon starting at 6 a.m. on Dec. 31. Love this show. Give it a go if you haven’t.
Three Stooges marathon: Starts at 7 a.m. ET Dec. 31 and doesn’t stop until 6 a.m. Jan 1 on AMC.
Doctor Who marathon: Begins when the ball drops and continues through 10 p.m. Jan. 2 on BBC America.
South Park marathon: Starts at 9 p.m. ET and finishes at 5 a.m. on Comedy Central (after back-to-back showings of South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut at 1 a.m. and 3 a.m.).
Ghost Lab marathon: From 9 a.m. ET Dec. 31 through 3 a.m. on Discovery.
Rocky marathon: The first five films in the franchise play on loop from the moment the ball drops through 3 a.m. Jan 2 on Encore.
Hung marathon: Nice, HBO. From the moment the ball drops, through 5:25 a.m. Jan. 1.
Nora Roberts’ Northern Lights: We’re guessing Eddie Cibrian and LeAnn Rimes will be kissing at midnight, which is when their movie starts on Lifetime.
Twilight Zone marathon: From 8:30 a.m. Dec. 31 through 6 a.m. ET Jan 2 on Syfy.
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern marathon: From noon Dec. 31 until 3 a.m. ET on the Travel Channel.