Behind the 'New Year's Rockin' Eve' Scenes with Producer Barry Adelman

The day after Christmas, Barry Adelman leaves Los Angeles for New York's Times Square, where he is finalizing the production of “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2014.” This year's show will feature performances from Blondie, Icona Pop and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis with Miley Cyrus closing 2013 and Billy Joel, in a live remote from Brooklyn's Barclays Center, ringing in 2014.

Before he left L.A., "New Year's Rockin' Eve" producer Adelman spoke to Billboard about the show's legacy as well as the acts booked to perform in New York, Los Angeles (Capital Cities, Daughtry, Jason Derulo, Fall Out Boy, Florida Georgia Line, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Enrique Iglesias, Robin Thicke and the Fray) and Miami (Pitbull). ABC broadcasts three editions of "Dick Clark" shows on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 - an 8-10 p.m. special titled "The 30 Greatest Women in Music"; a 10-11 p.m. primetime edition of "New Year's Rockin' Eve"; and, of course the 11:30 p.m. countdown to the new year. Hosts Ryan Seacrest and Jenny McCarthy will be live from Times Square.

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Barry Adelman

: Billboard: How long have you done the show and what would you say is the biggest change you have seen?
Barry Adelman: I started doing this in the late 1980s, and in the early years it was Dick Clark by himself in Times Square with his wife Kari holding the cue cards. With the new millennium they put live performances in Times Square, and we have had amazing people ever since. Christina (Aguilera), Taylor Swift, this year Miley Cyrus. It has become a real happening.

How will the show incorporate the Billy Joel feed?
It's going to take place after the ball drops. Miley is at 11:40, Billy is at 12:05 a.m. I think this is one of the greatest lineups we have ever had and it should be a memorable New Year's Eve. A lot of different elements.

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What's the approach for booking the show and is this year any different?
We like "New Year’s Rockin’ Eve" to be a review of the year in music. It’s people who made a great impact on the charts. One of our main guidelines is to capture this year's biggest [hits]. Icona Pop was so big throughout the year, Macklemore dominated the charts all year long, and Robin Thicke, who'll be performing from Hollywood, has the [No. 2] song of the year on the Billboard [Hot 100]. We go for that.


What if someone has a new song to promote?

We always give artists a chance to do new material as well. "New Year's Rockin' Eve" is not only taking stock (in the year), but looking forward. It's only logical (to have new songs).

As the show continues to expand -- it's now up to 5.5 hours of airtime -- how to you keep it from looking like the same show we have already seen?
We never rest on our laurels and have become and American tradition. It's at the point where all of the artists we book have grown up with the show and if you're going to be watching TV, the first thing you'll be talking about is ABC. There was a time when it was just 11:30 to 1 a.m. Now it's 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
 
With much of live television there is a significant social media element. How is that working this year?
Everything at dick clark productions has an online element and we've added a number of digitial features. On Twitter we'll have a lot of selfies going out from the acts, a lot of digital surveys taking place and a lot of conversations taking place online during the show. We're trying to produce online content that complements and enhances the experience. A lot of it is via Twitter and at ABC.com. For anybody who wants to join the conversation, we'll have plenty of opportunity; it's something we encourage.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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