Dick Clark’s Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest | Monday, 8 p.m., ABC
Temperatures dipped into the single digits last New Year’s Eve, and that was enough for Jenny McCarthy to reconsider co-hosting “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest” in 2018. “Last year was so cold. I was, like, ‘This is my last year.’ I remember crying and saying, ‘I quit’ — and it was only 9:30,” said a relaxed and perfectly coiffed McCarthy during a recent interview at SiriusXM, where she anchors a self-titled talk show. But she will be back to brave the elements, alongside performers like Christina Aguilera, Dan + Shay and New Kids on the Block (a group that includes her husband, “Blue Bloods” star Donnie Wahlberg, who is her guest in Times Square every year). On the following Wednesday, McCarthy will also be on “The Masked Singer” (premiering at 9 p.m. on Fox), in which she and other star panelists try to guess the identities of masked crooning celebrities.
McCarthy, 46, talked with The Post about the Times Square vibe, Mariah Carey’s dreadful 2016 performance and what it’s like to be mocked.
What’s it like to be in the thick of things in Times Square?
Have you ever gone to a gospel church? I used to go with my sister. There’s, like, a vibration — and this is like that, a really magical buzz. You have everybody filled with love and happiness while the confetti’s coming down. It’s euphoric.
Do you worry about dropping an f-bomb or messing up?
You would think with my mouth I should be worried about that, but no — I get off on the idea of things going wrong. Last year it was so cold that the teleprompters weren’t working. That’s fine because I can wing it, no problem. That’s where rehearsal comes in handy.
Two years ago Mariah Carey famously messed up on the show. I’m not trying to disparage her, by the way …
Oh, I’m about to. [Laughs] Of course I have empathy for any performer that has a malfunction. Absolutely. But she wouldn’t do rehearsals. She had her assistant do her sound check while she stood off to the side. And she didn’t want to use Dick Clark’s people, who have been doing this forever. That’s what happens when you surround yourself with a bubble of yes-people.
Did she redeem herself when she returned last year?
I was the first one to doubt that she could pull it off ’cause I thought for sure she was gonna lip-sync. She sang [live] and knocked it out of the park. I gotta hand it to her: She did it.
How do you tolerate the noise?
It’s a good noise, that beautiful, energetic rumble of joy. And I know Donnie’s lips are about to touch mine, so everything fades away.
What was it like before you and Donnie got together?
The first few years were me kissing strangers at midnight. There were so many cops — new, young recruits out of police training, and their first day on the job is New Year’s Eve. The first year I was like, “Oh. My. God.” Since I was single I thought it’d be great to play “eenie, meenie, miney, mo,” pick a cop and say, “Will you kiss me at midnight?” It was awesome. Now my husband goes, “You’re no longer ever going to be alone on New Year’s.”
What is your favorite part about hosting every year?
My favorite thing every year: leave it to the internet to tell you who or what you look like and do a comparison side-by-side. I don’t mind when people make fun of me. Like, “You look like Joan Rivers,” and they’ll find a shot of her. One year I was compared to Dog the Bounty Hunter because my hair was done a certain way. One year I wore a nude-colored coat that had this big flap and people were like, “Oh my God, you look like a penis.” And I did — I couldn’t argue with them!
What will you wear this year?
Since I went so colorful last time, I might just go with black. My friend sent me a shiny, silver puffy coat, and I said, “You know I will be [called] a baked potato.”
— Eric Hegedüs
And here’s what else to watch this week:
The Big Bang Theory | Thursday, 8 p.m., CBS
Penny (Kaley Cuoco) and Leonard (Johnny Galecki) organize a paintball game that unhappily reveals Sheldon’s (Jim Parsons) jealousy of Amy (Mayim Bialik).
Escape at Dannemora | Sunday, 10 p.m., Showtime
Series finale. The law closes in on prison escapees Richard Matt (Benicio del Toro) and David Sweat (Paul Dano), mere miles from the Canadian border. Meanwhile, Tilly (Patricia Arquette) is arrested for helping the inmates escape. With Bonnie Hunt.
New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly | Monday, 11:30 p.m., NBC
Daly, who hosts “The Voice” and is also a member of the crew at “Today,” welcomes performers such as Diana Ross, Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and John Legend. Chrissy Teigen is the co-host.
Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club | Tuesday, 8 p.m., MTV
Series premiere. Lindsay Lohan has moved to Mykonos, Greece, to launch the Lohan Beach House, a luxury destination. LiLo has a staff of VIP hosts, who are the focus of this soft introduction of the show, which will kick into full gear next week.
Young Sheldon | Thursday, 8:30 p.m., CBS
Georgie (Montana Jordan) joins Mary’s (Zoe Perry) bible study class to spend more time with his crush, Veronica (Isabel May).
The Orville | Sunday, 8 p.m., Fox
Season premiere. As The Orville heads toward Moclus for a special ceremony, Ed (Seth MacFarlane) discovers that Kelly (Adrianne Palicki) has started dating again. Meanwhile, Gordon (Scott Grimes) asks for John’s (J. Lee) help and Claire (Penny Johnson Jerald) asks Isaac (Mark Jackson) for parenting advice.
Fox’s New Year’s Eve with Steve Harvey | Monday, 8 p.m., Fox
Steve Harvey bundles up for his annual New Year’s Eve extravaganza. His guests include Sting, Florence + the Machine, Jason Aldean, Kenan Thompson and Robin Thicke. Harvey’s co-host is Maria Menounos.
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