Fox has scrapped its plans to ring in 2022 from Times Square as the Omicron variant of COVID-19 continues to surge in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that the highly infectious variant has been detected in New York and New Jersey at four times the national average rate. On Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio stated that the rate would likely continue rising over the next few weeks.
Joel McHale and Ken Jeong were set to return as co-hosts of Fox’s New Year’s Eve Toast & Roast 2022 in the Big Apple with special correspondent Kelly Osbourne and musical performances from Imagine Dragons, Maroon 5, Billy Idol, Pink, and Trace Adkins.
“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.”
Fox is the first network to announce a major New Year’s Eve programming cancellation. ABC is moving forward with its annual Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve hosted by Ryan Seacrest. NBC’s broadcast hosted by Miley Cyrus and Pete Davidson will air live from Miami on December 31st.
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