Dick Clark Preps For Three New Year's Specials

The ageless Dick Clark is bracing for a "long" New Year's Eve celebration — one where he will usher in 2001 with not one, but three separate pop music specials on ABC. Despite that, he says he's happy things will be "back to normal" after the craziness of last year's turn of the century bash.

"Now it'll be a cozy little group of about half a million people in the Square instead of a million," notes Clark, who has helmed 28 previous New Year's Rockin' Eve specials. "It won't be as stressful."

Clark will, as usual, be anchored in New York City's Times Square, where he'll host the three shows: Dick Clark's Primetime New Year's Rockin' Eve from 10-11 p.m. EST and PST, with performance clips from 'N Sync, KISS, Jessica Simpson, and O-Town; Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve 2001, Part 1 from 11:30 p.m.-1 a.m. EST and PST, with comedian Wayne Brady from Whose Line Is It Anyway? and performances by the Baha Men, 98 Degrees, Boyz II Men, Third Eye Blind, Lonestar, and the Bangles; andDick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve 2001, Part 2 from 1-2 a.m., with the Baha Men, Vertical Horizon, Joe, the Bangles, and Third Eye Blind.

The prime-time show will also feature a vintage 1976 clip of K.C. & the Sunshine Band — which has rocked in more new years with Clark than any other band — performing "Get Down Tonight."

Clark says he's looking forward to the usual good, over-the-top time. But he's not engaging himself in the debate over whether the new millennium actually began last New Year's Eve or this year. "I'm not a purist," he says. "I don't care. In my book, it happened last year. If it was wrong, it was wrong. But most of us fell for it."

The Baha Men will perform, what else, "Who Let the Dogs Out," as well as another of their songs, "You All Dat." The Bangles will perform their '80s hit "Manic Monday," as well as Simon and Garfunkel's "Hazy Shade of Winter" and the new song "Ride the Ride."

Other performances include: Boyz II Men, "Thank You in Advance" and "Step on Up;" Joe, "I Wanna Know" and "Stutter;" KISS, "Rock and Roll All Nite;" Lonestar, "Amazed" and "Tell Her;" 98 Degrees, "Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)" and "My Everything;" 'N Sync, "Bye, Bye, Bye;" O-Town, "Liquid Dreams;" Jessica Simpson, "I Think I'm in Love With You;" Third Eye Blind, "Deep Inside of You," "Never Let You Go," and "10 Days Late;" and Vertical Horizon, "Everything You Want," "You're a God," and "Best I Ever Had."

Meanwhile, New Year's Eve's other big television event will be happening a stone's throw away, as Marilyn Manson, Papa Roach, and BB Mak ring in 2001 from the Times Square headquarters of MTV.