January 28, 2023
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Ryan Seacrest praises CNN for scaling back drinking on New Year

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Ryan Seacrest is raising a (non-alcoholic) toast to CNN for its decision to scale back the booze during its New Year’s Eve broadcast.

The television personality, who has long hosted ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that he thought the network’s move to sober up its coverage was a step in the right direction.

“I don’t advocate drinking when one is on the air. I don’t know how that started as a tradition, but it’s probably a good idea [to scale back], CNN,” he told the magazine on Monday. “There’s some pretty respectable people or at least one, right? I think there’s a serious journalist and then a friend of mine who has a lot of fun, but it’s probably a good idea.”

Seacrest’s comments come nearly a year after CNN “New Year’s Eve Live” co-host Andy Cohen, joined by Anderson Cooper, threw some shade at ABC’s coverage. During CNN’s 2021 sendoff, the “Watch What Happens Live” star referred to ABC’s New Year’s spectacle as “Ryan Seacrest’s group of losers that are performing behind us.”

“I mean, with all due [respect], if you’ve been watching ABC tonight, you’ve seen nothing,” he added. “I’m sorry.”

Although Seacrest did not mention Cohen by name, he said the controversial comments were “from the alcohol, because I don’t think they would say what they said about our performers if they weren’t drinking.” The “American Idol” host touted ABC’s show as “bigger, broader” and said he wasn’t exactly above getting back at their programming rivals.

“I might send them some Casa Dragones tequila just to tempt them while they’re on the air,” Seacrest told EW.

Days into 2022, Cohen revisited his drunken dig at Seacreast and ABC.

“I really like Ryan Seacrest, and he’s a great guy, and I really regret saying that,” he said in a January episode of his radio show. “I was just stupid and drunk and feeling it. … I just kept talking, and I shouldn’t have.”

Cohen isn’t the only personality known for getting tipsy during CNN’s New Year’s broadcast. In the past, Don Lemon has repeatedly gone viral on social media for his various New Year’s Eve shenanigans — from getting his ear pierced under the influence in 2016 to telling anyone who doesn’t want him to share his “point of view on television” to “kiss my behind” in 2021.

According to Variety, CNN Chairman Chris Licht told employees during a November town-hall meeting that the boozy shenanigans undermined CNN’s credibility and “respectability.”

CNN’s “New Year’s Eve Celebration,” hosted by Cohen and Cooper, will air live Dec. 31 at 8 p.m. Eastern.

ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest” also airs Dec. 31 at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific.



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