FOX is scrapping its plans for New Year’s Eve.
The network this week confirmed the NYE special from Times Square will no longer go ahead as planned.
The decision was brought on due to the surge in COVID cases brought on by the Omicron variant.
“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,” Fox Entertainment said in a statement.
“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. Replacement programming for New Year’s Eve on Fox will be announced in the coming days.”
Joel McHale and Ken Jeong were set to co-host the special event, alongside special correspondent Kelly Osbourne.
Musical performances by Billy Idol, Imagine Dragons, P!nk, Maroon 5, and others were also set for the project.
It’s unclear whether FOX will pivot to a virtual event, or proceed with something that does not incorporate NYE programming.
FOX was the first network to announce a shift in the plans for its New Year’s Eve programming.
NBC has a special from Miami hosted by Miley Cyrus and Pete Davidson on tap, while ABC has its annual Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve event.
CBS also has Nashville’s Big Bash, hosted by Bobby Bones and Rachel Smith.
More changes are likely, but it really just depends on whether the networks believe the projects will be able to be completed in a way that is COVID-safe.
Live events are becoming difficult to produce in the pandemic, with Saturday Night Live airing without an audience last week.
It also featured pre-taped sketches.
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.