Jimmy Kimmel Live! Shifts Schedule To Compete With Letterman And Leno
After years of competing only against NBC's Jimmy Fallon for late-night audiences, ABC's Jimmy Kimmel is moving up to the big leagues. The network announced today that Jimmy Kimmel Live! will move up to the 11:35 pm time slot, going directly against CBS's Late Show With David Letterman and the granddaddy of them all, The Tonight Show.
According to ABC, Nightline will take Kimmel's old spot at 12:35 a.m., now competing against Late Night with Jimmy Fallon with utterly different programming. Kimmel will debut in his new time slot on January 8, the day after ABC airs the BCS college football championship game. This will be the first time ABC has aired a late night talk show to compete with NBC and CBS, and the timing seems to be right-- Kimmel's last season was the most-watched in five years, and it's the only late-night show on broadcast to actually grow its audience in the last year.
And though Letterman and Leno are ostensibly still the late-night giants, in terms of pop culture cachet they're way behind Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon and yes, Jimmy Kimmel. In 10 years on the air Kimmel has established himself as an engaging, up-for-anything late night personality, especially good at bringing in high-profile guests and getting them to play along, and in ramping up the after-show programming for major ABC events, like the finale of Lost or last year's Oscar broadcast. Celebrate Kimmel's big promotion with a look back to the massive, star-studded video he debuted after the Oscars last year, and look forward to much more of these shenanigans, with a much wider audience, in the years to come.
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