Celebrating New Year in Front of the Tube : Parades, Bowl Games, Movie Marathons, Traditional Programming, Special Features Will Fill the Screen


Television viewers will be bombarded today and Tuesday by parades, football, made-for-TV New Year’s Eve celebrations, a movie marathon and talking heads bravely or foolish predicting what will transpire during the coming year.

If everyone loves a parade, then television must love the Rose Parade, with all three major networks and three local stations providing coverage.

New Year’s Day bowl games, which had shrunk to three in the early 1970s, will be represented by a record eight telecasts this year--plus another two today. The bowl glut, along with lackluster matchups, could result in record-setting low ratings.

ABC, CBS, NBC and MTV will continue their tradition of New Year’s Eve special programming, which, outside of the midnight countdowns, figures to be all but ignored as revelers create their own amusement.



Coverage of the Rose Parade begins at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

The 102nd parade will also serve as a Can-you-top-this? competition between KTLA Channel 5 and KTTV Channel 11. The two independent stations, which have been sniping over the meaning of KTTV’s claim that its coverage will be “commercial-free,” will each open with an hourlong pre-parade show at 7 a.m. KTLA, which made history in 1947 when it became the first television station to carry the parade, has seen its audience continue to grow through the years. KTLA has had the highest-rated parade telecast for 15 consecutive years with last year’s coverage attracting more viewers than KTTV and the three network affiliates combined. KTLA will also air encore parade presentations at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Bob Eubanks and Stephanie Edwards host.

Sarah Purcell, Mark Summers and Bill Welsh anchor KTTV’s coverage, which will be rerun at 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Patricia Janiot and Jaime Garcia provide Spanish language coverage on KMEX Channel 34 at 8 a.m. and 11:30 p.m.

On the network level, “Knots Landing” regular Kevin Dobson and Leeza Gibbons from “Entertainment This Week” host on CBS (Channels 2 and 8), “Today” show co-host Joe Garagiola and Marsha Warfield anchor on NBC (Channels 4, 36 and 39), while sportscaster Jim McKay and “Good Morning America’s” Joan Lunden do the honors for ABC (Channels 7, 3, 10 and 42).

There are two parades today: the Sunkist Fiesta Bowl Parade at 3 p.m. on Channel 4 and the King Orange Jamboree Parade at 8 p.m. on Channels 4, 36 and 39. CBS carries New Year’s Day’s other parade, the Cotton Bowl Parade, at 2 p.m.

Bowl Games


No Bart Simpson Bowl yet, but there will be 10 college football bowl games over the holiday period, eight with corporate sponsors in their titles and three with a possible bearing on the wire service-selected national championship.

USC fans, who have grown accustomed to seeing the Trojans playing on New Year’s Day, will see their team conclude a disappointing season a day earlier than usual in today’s John Hancock Bowl against Michigan State, 11:30 a.m., Channels 2 and 8. California fans can see their Bears make their first bowl appearance since 1979 in the Domino’s Pizza Copper Bowl, 2 p.m., TBS. Wyoming provides the opposition.

New Year’s Day bowl telecasts begin at 8:30 a.m. on ESPN with the Mazda Gator Bowl between Michigan and Mississippi. Clemson and Illinois kick off the Hall of Fame Bowl at 10 a.m. on Channels 4, 36 and 39.

The national championship scramble begins at 10:30 a.m. No. 2 Georgia Tech (10-0-1) faces No. 19 Nebraska (9-2) in the Florida Citrus Bowl on Channels 7, 3, 10 and 42. At the same time, No. 4 Miami (9-2) plays No. 3 Texas (10-1) in the Cotton Bowl on Channels 2 and 8.


Next on the menu are two games that have seen their significance diminished.

The Fiesta Bowl, which decided the 1986 and 1988 national championships, has had to settle for a matchup between No. 18 Louisville (9-1-1) and No. 25 Alabama (7-4) after Notre Dame and Virginia opted for other bowls after Arizona voters’ rejection of a paid state holiday honoring civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. Coverage begins at 1:30 p.m. on Channels 4, 36 and 39.

The 77th Rose Bowl, pitting No. 8 Washington against No. 17 Iowa, airs at 2 p.m. on Channels 7, 3, 10 and 42.

The action picks up a step at 5 p.m. when No. 1 Colorado (10-1-1) meets No. 5 Notre Dame (9-2), in the Federal Express Orange Bowl on NBC.


New Year’s Day’s final game is the USF&G; Sugar Bowl between No. 10 Tennessee (8-2-2) and Virginia (8-3), 5:30 p.m., Channels 7, 3, 10 and 42.

New Year’s Eve Specials

New Year’s Eve celebrations begin at 11:30 p.m. on ABC, CBS, NBC and MTV.

Jane Pauley hosts festivities from Times Square as part of “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” (11:30 p.m., Channels 4, 36 and 39). Jay Leno substitutes for Johnny from Burbank. B.B. King and Dwight Yoakum are the musical guests along with comedian Phil Hartman from “Saturday Night Live.”


ABC counters with “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” with the Beach Boys, Bell Biv DeVoe, the Kentucky Headhunters, Nelson, the O’Jays and Sweet Sensation.

Melissa Manchester is the headliner on “CBS’ Happy New Year America” which also features James Ingram, Eddie Rabbitt, Kid Creole and the Coconuts and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

MTV conducts its “New Year’s Eve World Party” from the Tokyo Dome, the Ritz in New York and Deutschland Halle in Berlin at 11:30 p.m. Bon Jovi, Skid Row, Wilson Phillips, Cinderella, the Black Crowes, Vanilla Ice and Scorpions provide music.

Other Programming


Viewers looking for alternative programming do have choices. KCOP Channel 13 airs a 22-hour commercial-free movie marathon beginning at midnight. Films include “From Here to Eternity,” “The Good Earth” and “Chinatown.”

“Nightline” presents its sixth annual predictions show at 11:30 p.m. New Year’s Day. New York Times Pulitzer-Prize winning columnist William Safire, economist Arthur Laffer and Frank Deford, editor of the National, the ailing all-sports newspaper, give their guesses for 1991 with a look back at their 1990 predictions. Sam Donaldson hosts.

Cable’s TBS begins airing full-length, unedited versions of “The Andy Griffith Show” at 3:35 p.m. Tuesday, restoring scenes that had been cut from the network version to provide for additional commercial time in syndication.