NEW YORK (AP) — Forty years ago, Dick Clark's New Year's Eve special was created to give young people an alternative to a seasonal institution, bandleader Guy Lombardo.
Now Clark's annual show is the institution.
"New Year's Rockin' Eve," with Clark and Ryan Seacrest, pays tribute to its own history during a sprawling, nearly six-hour program Saturday night. The celebration takes up all of prime time on ABC, breaks for a half-hour of local news, then comes back on the air for two and a quarter hours that includes the ball dropping in New York City's Times Square to mark the beginning of 2012.
"I'm looking forward to it being 2:15 (a.m. on Sunday)," said Larry Klein, who has been producing the show since 1977.