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"I think it's important that we do bring the fun": Seacrest ready for this unprecedented "New Year's Rockin' Eve'

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ABC/Brian Bowen Smith(NEW YORK) — Despite the pandemic, Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest rolls on, live from New York’s Times Square Thursday night on ABC.  But even without a massive crowd, Ryan and his co-hosts Lucy Hale and Billy Porter will still bring up the energy through the broadcast.

“We will not pack in a million-people, obviously, but we will have the performances like we always do, we will have the stage built like we always have,” Ryan tells ABC Audio. “And I think it’s important that we do bring in fun and…this theme of celebration and this theme of moving forward and moving on from this year.”

And it’s not like Times Square will be completely empty: Essential and frontline workers and their families — who Lucy calls “the real heroes of 2020” — will be joining Ryan and company at the Crossroads of the World.

“It’ll be nice to have some people there and really be honoring them,” Lucy notes.

In addition to interviewing those workers, Ryan will be speaking to president-elect Joe Biden and his wife about “what’s to come in the new year, hope and unity.”

Also joining the party: Jennifer Lopez, who’ll be performing right before the ball drops. J-Lo, who last appeared on NYRE 10 years ago, “really felt it was important to come back as a local from the New York area to celebrate,” says Ryan, adding, “We’ll also have Billy Porter and Cyndi Lauper performing together, which is kind of special.”

And because folks won’t be out partying this year, Ryan is hoping “there’ll be more people watching than ever before.”

He says, “Our hope is that they turn the TV on, and even if it’s just the background for their very small gathering…we’ll be a part of it.”

By Andrea Dresdale
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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