As 2020 finally came to an end, networks had to adjust their programming to comply with COVID safety protocols, and here’s how they did it. Previous year operations actually worked in the networks’ favor as they typically have pre-recorded performances and hosts in multiple locations to ring in the new year. Therefore, most networks are still planning to live stream from New York, New Orleans, and LA. While some aspects like I mentioned above are staying consistent, the major change is happening in New York specifically Times Square. While it won’t be the large packed Times Square we are used to seeing, it is allowing 150 frontline workers to come social distance and watch the ball drop in-person. The crowd will be known as ‘The Heroes Of 2020’ and ‘That will give our hosts — Ryan, Lucy, and Billy — a chance to talk to them about the year that they’ve had, how they’ve coped with being a frontline worker, and how that’s affected their families,’ says Mark Bracco(executive producer for ‘Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin’ Eve’).
The executive producer of ‘New Years Rockin’ Eve’, Linda Gierahn talked about the changes they’ve made saying, “We’ve had to adjust schedules, adjust locations of where people are at, follow all of our protocols on social distancing, COVID testing, PPE, everything that goes along with that,”. Gierahn continued and spoke on COVID/health testing saying, “Part of that is a daily health screening, temperature checks, and just making sure that the crew goes through that whole process before they get into our secure perimeter.” Despite the fact that the crowds weren’t what they typically are, the networks did what they could to keep the festivities as familiar as possible to those watching on the TV.