CNN Said They Plan To Scale Back The Drinking During Their New Year’s Eve Coverage, And Andy Cohen Responded

November 17, 2022 / Posted by:

For those of us who refuse to wear clothes with an uncompromising waistband or leave the house past 8 p.m., we look to the TV on New Year’s Eve to watch other, more ambitious fun-havers crammed into the confines of Times Square clad in coats, hats, and adult diapers who’ve stood in the cold for 16 hours in anticipation of a few underwhelming musical guests followed by ten whole seconds of excitement. CNN’s NYE coverage has become the staple for people who love mess and don’t want to sit through Ryan Seacrest and his “group of losers;” with the master of lighting a match and walking away, Andy Cohen, getting lit with his incessantly giggly bestie, Anderson Cooper, while Don Lemon and other correspondents assist in the chaos. Last year, Andy got so rip-roaring ranty and wasted that it was rumored CNN cut him loose. But they didn’t, and he and Anderson will be back this year to host the festivities. And even though CNN says they’ve decided they’re banning booze for the correspondents involved in the coverage, Andy wants everyone to know the new rule doesn’t apply to him or Anderson, so we should expect them to be next-level hammered.

Usually, while AC and AC bicker and take shots to stay warm, there’s also a correspondent stationed among the piss-pantsed Times Square revelers and someone in another city to showcase the NYE celebration going on there. Variety reported yesterday that CNN anchors and correspondents won’t be allowed to drink on or off camera this year to preserve CNN’s “respectability.”

The Warner Bros. Discovery-backed news outlet wants to pare back some of the zany antics that have become a staple of its wee-hours coverage of the last night of the year. While Anderson Cooper will still be able to imbibe during primetime hours — along with his co-host Andy Cohen — while the duo holds forth in Times Square, correspondents and anchors who may have slurped down alcoholic concoctions on camera (or off) in the past will be required to halt the practice.

The network’s coverage of New Year’s Eve was a topic of a town-hall discussion held Tuesday between CNN staffers and Chris Licht, the company’s chairman and CEO. The coming New Year’s Eve broadcast will be CNN’s first under Licht’s aegis.  During the meeting, Licht told employees he felt on-camera drinking eroded the credibility of CNN personnel and damaged the “respectability” they may enjoy among viewers.

In years past, CNN fixture/”grown-ass man” Don Lemon was usually right there with Andy and Anderson, shot-for-shot. But he just got a new gig with CNN, so it seems that they’d like to polish up his image.

If Cooper and Cohen veer towards tipsy, Lemon tends to lean in decisively. He has led CNN’s coverage of the holiday after 12:30 in the morning, when things tend to get more raucous. One year, Lemon got his ear pierced on live TV. In last year’s show, he went on a rant, telling viewers he was a “grown-a– man” who was “able to share my point of view on television and it freaks people out and you know what,” he said. You can kiss my behind, I do not care. I don’t care.” He was flanked by CNN’s Alisyn Camerota and comedian Dulce Sloan.

His new role on CNN’s retooled morning program may have executives rethinking how much fun he ought to have in plan view. 

CNN hasn’t said if Don will be involved in the NYE programming this year, but Andy Cohen DID make his NYE plans very clear last night on Watch What Happens Live. Andy mentioned the Variety piece specifically, dubbing it the “Jackhole of the Day,” and declared that he and Anderson will be going harder than they’ve ever gone before and plan to get absolutely crapulous. Here’s that:

Fingers crossed that Andy gets so insanely out of his mind that he creates a show on Bravo that champions stable relationships between level-headed women who are the pillars of their communities. Just kidding–keep the felons and miscreants unwittingly outing themselves on national TV in their yearning for a blue checkmark on Instagram comin’.

Pic: Adam Nemser/ Curtis/StarPix for Sony Pictures Classics/ Images

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