After Dick Clark's Stroke

Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest returns to ABC tonight, hosted primarily by American Idol's one-man media conglomerate. Though it's unclear how much airtime Clark, 79, will have, he's scheduled to appear for the fourth straight year and the 36th of 37 shows since it premiered in 1972.

"Dick will do the countdown and bring the ball in, and we'll do a bunch of (short segments) with him," says longtime show producer Larry Klein.

Clark, who has made limited appearances since his stroke in 2004 — often speaking haltingly and using a walker or wheelchair — told the Associated Press in an e-mail interview, "I am one of the fortunate ones who survived and have been minimally impaired, so I'm just thankful I'm still able to enjoy this once-a-year treat of bringing in the New Year."

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