Another year over, a new one begun. The past meets the future. And TV embodies that time shift.
New Year’s Eve specials beam us the latest music acts in large-screen surround sound — when we aren’t bingeing on the black-and-white “tube” faves of TV’s 1950s infancy.
Strange dichotomy? Nope. That’s the way TV works. Forever new, forever old, forever on.
Some New Year’s Eve options (all times Saturday, unless noted):
“A Toast to 2016!” (8-10 p.m., NBC/4) brings “Today” hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb to prime time to salute the year that was — the mannequin challenge, those Olympic gymnasts, celebs galore. “Late Night With Seth Meyers New Year’s Eve Special” (10 p.m., NBC) follows with an hour of satire and more stars (Jennifer Lawrence, Leslie Jones).
More seriously, “American Forum” (6 p.m., WLIW World) ponders “Was 2016 a Rerun of 1968?” Journalists detail “All the Best, All the Worst 2016” (5 a.m., 7 p.m., 4 a.m., CNN). And show biz takes a bow in “A Tribute to the Stars We’ve Lost” (8 a.m., 2 a.m., Reelz).
Midnight’s big moment mixes with talk of current events, too, when news channels cover Times Square’s sea of humanity. “New Year’s Eve Live With Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin” (8 p.m.-12:30 a.m., CNN) inevitably gets wild-and-crazy. Jesse Watters and Lisa “Kennedy” Montgomery host “Countdown to 2017” (8-11 p.m., FNC), leading into “All American New Year” (11 p.m.-midnight, FNC), where Eric Bolling and Kimberly Guilfoyle present music from Gavin DeGraw and Rachel Platten.
Music is the main thing on the broadcast networks:
“Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest” (8-11 p.m., 11:30 p.m.-2:13 a.m., ABC/7) delivers Times Square songs from Mariah Carey, DNCE, Thomas Rhett and Gloria Estefan with her “On Your Feet!” cast. The show’s 45th edition adds a live 1 a.m. countdown in Central Time party town New Orleans, with Jason Derulo and Panic! At the Disco, hosted by Lucy Hale. There’s even a new international performance, with Demi Lovato aboard a ship from St. Maarten.
“New Year’s Eve With Carson Daly” (11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m., NBC), with co-host Mel B, welcomes Jennifer Lopez, Blake Shelton, Alicia Keys and Pentatonix.
“Pitbull’s New Year’s Revolution” (11 p.m.-12:30 a.m., Fox/5) beams from Miami, with Queen Latifah and Snoop Dogg hosting old-school sounds from Nelly, Biz Markie, Salt-N-Pepa, Tone Loc and more.
“Feliz 2017!” (7 p.m.-3 a.m., Univision/41) adds celebrations in Disney World, Mexico City, Disneyland and Acapulco, with music from Maluma, Luis Fonzi, Alejandra Guzman, Joey Montana, Chiquis Rivera, Sofia Carson and others.
More music in “Live From Lincoln Center” (9:15-10:45 p.m., PBS/13).
“Nicki Minaj: Live From Brooklyn” (10 p.m.-midnight, again midnight-2 a.m., BET) isn’t really live, but it is indeed July’s Barclays Center show from her Pinkprint Tour.
Here come the real time trips. TV leaps into the new year with sitcoms from the networks’ first decade, 60 years back — Eve Arden’s “Our Miss Brooks” (1 p.m.-Monday 7 a.m., Decades) and “The Jack Benny Program” (6 p.m.-5 a.m., except “Johnny Carson” 10-11:30 and 1:30-3 a.m., Antenna TV), in which the comic miser welcomes big-name guests (Bob Hope, Carol Burnett, Lucille Ball, Bobby Darin, Nat King Cole).
“The Honeymooners” (11 p.m.-5 p.m., WPIX/11) makes its annual overnight return, as does perennial fave “The Twilight Zone” (8 a.m.-Tuesday 4 a.m., Syfy).
“Three Stooges” (6:03 p.m.-Sunday 3:15 p.m., IFC; 10 p.m.-6 a.m., Sundance) knock each other around in slapstick shorts from the 1930s and ’40s.
“My Little Pony” (6 a.m.-Sunday 6 a.m., Discovery Family) sees “Friendship Is Magic” episodes lead into “Equestria Girls” movies (from noon into overnight).
“Decade-a-Thon” (starts early-morning Friday, through Sunday night at midnight, MTV Classic) stacks up music videos from the ’80s, ’90s and 2000s (decades change at midnight).