The comic will say goodbye to “Jimmy Kimmel Live’s” current midnight slot in January and bump “Nightline” to 12:35 AM (the news program will also get a 9:00 PM primetime spot on Fridays, starting in March).
Although his contract was up, Kimmel told the New York Times he wasn’t pressuring ABC to make the move. “This was just a decision that ABC made on their own. We didn’t push them or bully them.”
The 44-year-old added, “It’s all a bit scary, too, but it’s very exciting.”
Anne Sweeney, the president of Disney/ABC, calls this “Jimmy’s moment.” She told the Times, “We are looking at a landscape with two entrenched guys who are starting to fade. Their audiences are diminishing and Jimmy, who has now been on 10 years, is continuing to grow.”
Letterman and Leno are expected to keep their late night gigs for at least another two years. Moving time slots now, could give Kimmel an edge on Jimmy Fallon, Leno’s likely replacement on NBC.
“That’s definitely part of this,” Jimmy said, “as well as who the mystery man will be who eventually takes over for Dave [at CBS].”
Kimmel is a hot commodity these days. He emceed the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in April and will host the Emmy Awards in September.
Comedian Jimmy Kimmel is moving time slots! The ABC funnyman will be going up against late night giants Jay Leno and David Letterman at 11:35 PM.