Dick Clark Countdown 2011: New Year’s Rockin’ Eve

Dick Clark 2011 – Dick is still getting used to the many changes in his life since suffering a stroke in 2004, and his role for the New Year’s Eve countdown has also changed for 2011, but he has plenty of help by Ryan Seacrest to help him run the show.

The show has always been the country’s most popular televised countdown. It carries the ratings and it’s also an ABC tradition that’s been going on for 40 years. From 8 to 10 p.m., you catch the 40th anniversary party on ABC.

“It’s our way of looking back on 40 years,” Mark Shapiro, the chief executive of Dick Clark Productions, said in a statement.

Clark turned 82 a month ago and still looks 30 to 40 years younger. There’s been a lot of speculation that it might be his last year on the “Rockin’ Eve” broadcast, which he started 4 decades ago.

Clark has managed to recover somewhat since 2004, but his speech remains significantly impaired, a consequence of the stroke. Two years ago he missed a couple of numbers in the countdown.

Though some television critics have asserted that Dick’s appearance on the show since his stroke can be uncomfortable for some viewers, Mr. Shapiro said that “a lot more than not, people truly appreciate the beacon of light that he is.”

Interviews with Mr. Clark are conducted via e-mail because of his speech. He said he presumed that for many viewers, it’s “comforting to see a familiar face who has been there for the past 40 years.”

He added that for viewers who have a physical disability, his appearances “may serve as a source of inspiration.”

Despite Mr. Clark’s health problems, Mr. Shapiro said there was no taped back-up.

“We take our shot, and we go live,” he said. “And Dick wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Mr. Clark’s first nationwide New Year’s Eve broadcast took place in 1972, when he conceived “Rockin’ Eve” as a youthful alternative to Guy Lombardo’s big-band broadcasts on CBS. It was originally shown on NBC and after two years moved to ABC, where it has stayed since.

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