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Jimmy Kimmel has come a long way since sitting beside Adam Carolla as co-frontman of The Man Show, but he hasn't ever lost his knack for drawing audiences with amusing celebrity interviews. Attesting that point to the fullest is the most recent deal that Kimmel entered into with his Jimmy Kimmel Live! network, ABC. The two parties agreed to a three-year extension, keeping Kimmel on the air through at least 2022.
The new deal marks a historic feat for Jimmy Kimmel Live!, in that the late night talk show will reach its 20th season on the air. That's pretty wild for someone who took the stage in 2003 mostly to give ABC a bigger voice in the late night field. It clearly worked, too. All things considered, Last Call with Carson Daly is the only non-news late night program to have aired longer that Jimmy Kimmel Live! without going through any host-changing hiatuses, and Daly will be retiring that show this year.
For instance, Jimmy Kimmel has been a more consistent late night fixture than his half-namesake Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show, and Stephen Colbert across both his The Late Show run and The Colbert Report, and Conan O'Brien's TBS show, among others. The closest behind Kimmel is Bill Maher, whose HBO series Real Time debuted less than a month after Jimmy Kimmel Live! in 2003.
For those wondering about the late night programming that Jimmy Kimmel Live! won't be surpassing with this 3-year renewal, there's ABC's World News Now (1992) and Nightline (1980) on the news-delivering side. But comedy remains the king, as Saturday Night Live remains the longest-lasting late night program on television. Interestingly enough, Kimmel has never hosted SNL. Maybe that'll change when his show breaks the 20-year mark. Or before.
Speaking of hosting things, which we've been doing since the beginning: ABC's new contract extension with Jimmy Kimmel was announced by network President Karey Burke during ABC's upfronts press conference, in which networks roll out their upcoming schedule plans for advertisers. Jimmy Kimmel is a solid name to bring up when trying to lure ad execs, considering he's always on hand at the upfronts to deliver ABC's presentation.
This year was no exception, and Jimmy Kimmel landed some pretty hilarious jabs on ABC, the variety of other networks under the Disney umbrella, and more. At one point, Kimmel delivered a line that spoke to just how long he's been a part of the ABC family.
I’ve been doing this so long, I remember when we were premiering Lost and Alias and Desperate Housewives. Those were the days when Felicity Huffman only played a scheming suburban mom.
Rim shot! It's that topical humor that keeps viewers tuning in, though goofy segments like the one below will always help.
Though Jimmy Kimmel Live! has been in front of TV audiences for longer than Jimmy Fallon's version of The Tonight Show and Stephen Colbert's take on The Late Show, the ABC talk show still falls behind the other two in terms of viewership and demo ratings. The competition is more heated than it used to be, but Kimmel likely won't run the table on Fallon and Colbert in the next three years.
Jimmy Kimmel Live! airs weeknights on ABC at 11:35 p.m. ET. Other guests this week include The Secret Life of Pets 2's Patton Oswalt, Booksmart's Billie Lourd, The Perfection's Allison Williams, The Daily Show's Trevor Noah, American Idol's Ryan Seacrest and more.