Fox has canceled its original plans to broadcast New Year’s Eve Toast & Roast 2022 live in New York’s Times Square citing the surge of the Covid-19 Omicron variant, Variety reports. The network announced on Tuesday that it will instead air replacement programming.
“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’s original schedule included hosts Joel McHale and Ken Jeong, with special correspondent Kelly Osbourne, and performances by Billy Idol, Imagine Dragons, Pink, and Maroon 5. It’s unclear if any of the parties originally involved will participate in the replacement programming.
As of Friday, the Mayor’s office and organizers of the annual Times Square New Year’s Eve extravaganza said the Times Square ball drop will go ahead as planned on Dec. 31. Singer KT Tunstall is headlining this year’s show, which will be hosted by actor Jonathan Bennett and Jeremy Hassell.
Fox is the first network to announce it is scrapping its original plans for New Year’s Eve. To date, NBC is currently ringing in the New Year from Miami with a program hosted by Miley Cyrus and Pete Davidson. ABC’s annual Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve plans to broadcast from Times Square, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Puerto Rico.