‘Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve’ Dominates Ball-Drop Hour With Nearly 20 Million Viewers

Ryan Seacrest-hosted ABC special hits 4-year highs in ratings and viewers

ryan seacrest - Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve

“Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2022” dropped a gigantic ball on the competition — in terms of TV ratings, at least.

The 11:30 p.m. to 12:31 a.m. hour, which is considered the first hour of the late-night day part, averaged a whopping 19.6 million total viewers and a 5.8 rating among adults 18-49, according to Nielsen. That’s a 38 share in the demo.

Both the rating and viewer tally mark four-year highs for the program. That rating more than tripled NBC’s own celebration with Pete Davidson and Miley Cyrus (a 1.9 rating in the key demo, though that one is including the 10:30-11:30 hour as well), and more than quadrupled CBS’ Nashville party (a 1.1).

This year’s calendar-turning broadcast marked the 50th anniversary of ABC’s annual New Year’s Eve special. The ball drop itself (well, the midnight quarter-hour, which is as granular as Nielsen gets) scored 24.2 million total viewers and a 7.3 rating.

Last year’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest” averaged a 5.6 rating and 18.4 million total viewers from 11:30 p.m. to 12:31 a.m. The weirdness of the first COVID-impacted party (from New Year’s Eve 2020 to New Year’s Day 2021) actually saw the celebration grow from Dec. 31, 2019’s 5.1 rating and 17.5 million total viewers.

For a further comparison, the 2018 New Year’s Eve telecast on ABC drew a 5.7 rating and 18.6 million total viewers, which was down heavily from 2017’s massive 8.2 rating and 25.5 total-viewers tally. That’s why the streak sits at four years and not more.

The second late-night segment of “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2022,” which technically began at 1:09 a.m. and concluded at 2:06 a.m., averaged a 1.7 rating and 5.6 million total viewers. ABC also won each of the six half-hours of the New Year’s Eve primetime with the Seacrest-hosted run-up.

Dick Clark died in 2012. Seacrest has been hosting the program since Clark suffered a stroke in 2004.