Hoda and Jenna Lead NBC’s Escape From 2020, While Robin Roberts Anchors ABC’s Annual Year-End Special

By A.J. Katz 

ABC and NBC have announced their annual year-end specials.

The fourth hour duo of Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager will co-host New Year’s Eve: Escape From 2020, airing Thursday, Dec. 31 (New Year’s Eve) at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

The annual two-hour prime time special on NBC will highlight the year’s most entertaining and talked about videos and trends that gave everyone a much-needed comedic break from what has been a not-so-comedic year. Kotb and Bush Hager will also look back at the most inspirational moments of 2020


The pre-taped broadcast will feature interviews with NBC personalities as well as celebrities across film, TV and music as they share their hopes for the new year, including: Lauren Ash, Skylar Astin, Andrea Canning, Kelly Clarkson, Carson Daly, Dylan Dreyer, Akbar Gbajabiamila, Willie Geist, Brad Goreski, Savannah Guthrie, Lester Holt, Matt Iseman, Sheinelle Jones, Carson Kressley, Preacher Lawson, John Legend, Jane Levy, Loni Love, Howie Mandel, Josh Mankiewicz, Chris Mann, Craig Melvin, Natalie Morales, Keith Morrison, Dennis Murphy, Alex Newell, Al Roker, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, Chris Sullivan and Johnny Weir.

Dateline senior ep David Corvo will helm the broadcast; Liz Cole is the executive producer; Adam Gorfain is the senior broadcast producer; Charmian Ling is the supervising producer; Justin Smith is the coordinating producer for NBC News’ prime time New Year’s Eve special.

Meanwhile, ABC News will present its 10th annual year-end wrap-up show, The Year, tonight, Tuesday, Dec. 29 from 9-11 p.m. ET on ABC.

Hosted by Robin Roberts, The Year will look back at the events that defined the last 12 months, including the pandemic and the presidential election as well as the pop culture trends and highlights that got us through.

Roberts is joined by ABC News anchors and correspondents, including George Stephanopoulos, Michael Strahan, David Muir, Juju Chang, Byron Pitts, Lara Spencer, Janai Norman, Eva Pilgrim, Deborah Roberts, Rebecca Jarvis, and Ginger Zee, plus Ian Pannell, Maggie Rulli, James Longman, Kaylee Hartung, Tom Llamas, Gio Benitez, Whit Johnson, Matt Gutman, Victor Oquendo and Dr. Jennifer Ashton.

The program will feature guest commentators, including actors Eugene Levy and Kal Penn, NFL star Emmanuel Acho, Shark Tank star Mark Cuban, country star Brad Paisley, activist and The Talk co-host Amanda Kloots, Entertainment Tonight correspondent Kevin Frazier, comedians Joel McHale and Nikki Glaser, political commentator Michal Eric Dyson, clothing designer Christian Siriano, reality star and businesswoman Bethenny Frankel, actresses Alyssa Milano, Tabitha Brown and Ryan Michelle Bathe, entrepreneur Anthony Scaramucci, civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson, transgender rights activist Raquel Willis, ABC News contributor Larry Hackett, WNBA star Sue Bird, The Atlantic contributor Jemele Hill, The Young Turks’ Brett Erlich, Congresswoman-elect Cori Bush, ESPN host Rachel Nichols, Queer Eye star Karamo Brown and writer and television host Matthew Hoffman.

The Year: 2020 is produced by ABC News. John R. Green and John Palacio are the executive producers.

Fox News also recently announced its year-end special, set to air on New Year’s Eve at 7 p.m. ET.

The one-hour program will feature a number of personalities including Fox & Friends’ co-host Brian Kilmeade, Fox Business Network’s Liz Claman, FNC contributor Tyrus along with actor Dean Cain and comedian and Saturday Night Live alumnus Joe Piscopo. The group will take a look back at this year in history and recap 2020’s biggest moments from the global pandemic,  presidential election and civil unrest to pop culture sensations such as Megxit, Tiger King and TikTok.