ABC announces plans to move the late-night talk show to the more competitive entertainment programming time slot.
After ten years, "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" is ready to give "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and "Late Show with David Letterman" some competition. The midnight talk show will be moved to 11.35 P.M. in January next year, prompting "Nightline" to shift an hour later to 12:35 A.M.
"Given the passionate fan base Jimmy Kimmel Live has built over the past decade, and the show's ratings and creative momentum this season, the time is right to make this move," said Anne Sweeney, president of Disney ABC Television Group, in a statement.
Jimmy Kimmel himself is pleased with the move, saying "I have been quietly hoping for this. It's a thrill to go up against the big guys, and you feel like when you go up against the big guys you're hosting a real talk show and not a talk-show fantasy camp. In any job, you want to please your employer, and I think this is about as good a vote of confidence as we could get."
Sweeney said the move will help the show, which has gained 3 percent rise in ratings last season, to earn more ads. "There is the potential for far greater upside over the long term with this shift, given increased advertiser demand for competitive entertainment programming in the time slot," she said.
As for "Nightline", the news magazine will resume a prime-time edition Fridays at 9 starting March 1 and expand to 30 minutes nightly. Up to January, "Nightline" will shift its focus on presidential election.