Ken Jeong and Joel McHale will not be ringing in the new year on Fox.
The network has canceled its New Year’s Eve special – Fox’s New Year’s Eve Toast & Roast 2022 – as a result of the rising spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
“While we are confident in the health and safety protocols for Fox’s New Year’s Eve Toast & Roast 2022, the recent velocity of the spread of Omicron cases has made it impossible to produce a live special in Times Square that meets our standards. We will not be moving forward with Fox’s New Year’s Eve Toast & Roast 2022 in New York. The health and safety of our casts and crews has always been, and will continue to be, of the utmost importance,” a Fox spokesman said.
The Masked Singer judge Jeong and McHale, who has worked with the doctor on the Fox unscripted series as a guest panelist, were set to reprise their 2020 new year’s special on December 31.
Last year, the special featured the likes of Kelly Osbourne and Craig Robinson.
Fox has not yet revealed what it will replace the special with but said that will reveal replacement programming in the coming days.
It comes as the New York Police Department is planning multiple contingencies and could scale back the traditional New Year’s Eve ball as a result of the pandemic.
ABC is continuing with its own new year’s eve special – Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest. The Disney-owned network has LL Cool J playing a pre-midnight set in Times Square with Pose’s Billy Porter performing on the Mississippi River.
Deadline understands that the network is waiting for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio to announce the city’s plans for the New Year’s Eve festivities in Times Square later this week before making a final decision.
Elsewhere, NBC has Miley Cyrus and Pete Davidson ringing in the new year with a Lorne Michaels-exec produced special airing from Miami, Florida. CBS is also ploughing ahead with its own Nashville’s Big Bash