'Jimmy Kimmel Live' Moving to 11:35PM; 'Nightline' to Follow at 12:35AM

Categories: 1-Featured,ABC TV ratings,Late Night TV Ratings

Written By

August 21st, 2012


Update: ABC has issued a press release about the move.

via press release:




“Jimmy Kimmel Live” Moves to 11:35 p.m. on January 8 to Capitalize on

Ratings Momentum, Higher Ad Demand and Greater Revenue Upside


Audiences Can Begin and End Their Day with ABC News as “Nightline” Shifts to 12:35 a.m. on

January 9 and Adds a Primetime Hour Every Friday Night at 9:00 p.m., Beginning March 1



Tuesday, August 21, 2012 . . . Capitalizing on ratings momentum, advertising demand and increased revenue potential for entertainment programming in the 11:35 p.m. time slot, ABC today announced a strategic shift in its late-night strategy to better position the network for increased ratings and financial performance over the long term. On Tuesday, January 8, “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” the only late-night broadcast talk show to increase in Total Viewers this past season, will move to 11:35 p.m., putting the show in head-to-head competition with “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “Late Show with David Letterman.” Proven late-night performer “Nightline” will shift to 12:35 a.m., allowing viewers to begin and end their broadcast day with news. The moves are timed to take advantage of the built-in promotional platforms provided by ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” and ESPN’s Bowl Championship Series, which culminates with the National Championship Game on Monday, January 7. In addition, “Nightline” will expand its programming commitments with a move into primetime, Friday nights at 9:00 p.m. beginning March 1. Given its success and growth, the ABC News series “What Would You Do?” will also find a new home on the schedule.


In making the announcement, Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group, said: “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. 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 continued: “This shift also allows us to bookend our programming day with compelling news content. And the addition of a new primetime hour of ‘Nightline’ on Friday nights will ensure that the program has even more opportunities to continue its incredible, award-winning reporting.”


For the complete 2011-12 Broadcast TV Season, “Jimmy Kimmel Live” grew its overall audience over the prior season by 3% in Total Viewers to generate its most-watched season in 5 years. In addition, “JKL” was the only late-night broadcast talk show to grow year over year in Total Viewers.


And the show’s ratings momentum has continued. During the recent July sweep, ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” surged year to year by 15% in Total Viewers to deliver its most-watched July sweep ever. Notably, “JKL” grew its overall audience year over year in all 4 sweeps of the 2011-12 Season. The program was also up over the year-ago sweep by 5% in Adults 18-49 to score its best July in 4 years – since 2008. In addition, “JKL” stood as the only broadcast talk show in late-night to achieve yearly growth in either Total Viewers or Adults 18-49. And on Sunday, September 23, Jimmy Kimmel will take another turn in the spotlight when he hosts the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.


The shift for “Nightline” in late-night and the addition of a new “Nightline” broadcast hour in primetime, timed to utilize the Academy Awards as a promotional platform, continues the momentum of ABC News, which has enjoyed a banner year of success and growth. From a resurgent “Good Morning America,” to the groundbreaking, innovative digital deal with Yahoo that immediately catapulted ABC News to the top of digital news delivery, to the recently completed joint venture with Univision for a 24-hour culturally relevant lifestyle and news channel for U.S. Hispanics -- the fastest growing demographic in the nation -- ABC News has gone from strength to strength and success to success.


In commenting on the announcement, Ben Sherwood, president, ABC News, said: “‘Nightline’ has proven its ability to grow over three decades on the air, with the show currently enjoying some of its highest ratings and best editorial work ever. The ‘Nightline’ team will now bring its excellent journalism to new time periods, and we especially welcome the chance to produce an hour every Friday in primetime, where new audiences will be introduced to the program’s signature storytelling, interviewing and investigations. I’m confident ‘Nightline’ and its dynamic anchors, correspondents and staff will enjoy many successes for years to come.”


Paul Lee, president, ABC Entertainment Group, added: “The time is right for Kimmel to make this move…he’s ready, and so is his audience. For the past 10 years we’ve built the foundation for this shift, and we’ll be celebrating the New Year as only Jimmy Kimmel can… with that unique brand of humor and universal wit that has endeared him to fans of all ages.”


The Disney/ABC Television Group is composed of The Walt Disney Company’s (NYSE: DIS) global entertainment and news television properties, owned television stations, and radio and publishing businesses. This includes ABC Entertainment Group, ABC News, ABC Owned Television Stations Group, Disney Channels Worldwide, Radio Disney, ABC Family and SOAPnet, as well as Disney-ABC Domestic Television and Disney Media Distribution. Hyperion Publishing and the Company’s equity interest in A&E Networks round out the Group’s portfolio of media businesses.


Jimmy Kimmel Live will move to the 11:35PM timeslot beginning January 8, 2013. Nightline will follow it at 12:35AM. ABC will also air a weekly primetime version of Nightline on Friday at 9PM, which will debut on March 1, 2013. Reportedly, JKL is getting the earlier timeslot because of  its ratings growth. More details can be found on Deadline.

  • Dean

    Bold move for ABC, congrats!

  • capslocke

    Can ABC really afford to take up prime real estate on their rapidly growing Friday nights for a primetime version of Nightline?

  • Doug

    That is quite the bold move, considering that Nightline frequently beat both Leno and Letterman in the demo. But hey…

    I keep wondering where ABC is going to fit all of these shows, especially now that Nightline has a Friday commitment and WWYD will find another night.

  • ZJW

    Not a fan of this move. I enjoy my late night shows to have staggered start times. Balls…

  • Marcus

    11:35 just got crowded.

  • Aaron

    Wow, I wonder how Letterman and Leno are reacting to this news.

  • joel

    Leno’s days are numbered. He just became the #3 broadcast talk show in his time slot.

  • GARebelman

    Kimmel looses a chunk of Nightline’s lead in and Fallon typically beats Kimmel even with a half hour advantage.

    Nightline has an older audience. I just don’t see that audience miraculously shifting to Kimmel. That sorta mentality is as bad as assuming Jay’s audience would have watched Conan.

  • rob60990

    This seems stupid. Who is Jimmy Kimmel sleeping with?

  • Tony

    Jimmy Kimmel is the best.

  • Nick

    Stupid move… Nightline beats every other show in late night. Idiots.

    So this is the Fridays schedule I guess:

    Shark Tank



    2 hours of newsmagazines are not really needed…
    And Primetime Nightline was attempted last summer. It barely cracked a 1.0.

  • ZJW

    Wait, haven’t Nightline’s ratings been really solid as of late?

  • Tony

    This is not a stupid move at all. Jimmy Kimmel Live is the only late night show to grow in total viewers. Jay and Dave are going down, they’re getting old. Kimmel is probably going to beat at least Dave almost right away.

  • Alex

    Stupid move… Nightline beats every other show in late night. Idiots.

    It might be winning the slot but its not bringing in the dollars and it seems revenue is the main motivation for this move. Chat shows bringing in more revenue than Nightline. Tonight and Late Show are pulling in $80-90 million each. ABC wants some of that and are taking the gamble that Nightline’s numbers won’t suffer from moving later (and they’re probably right).

    The real question is will Kimmel collapse opposite Leno and Letterman?

  • SJ

    Yeah, it looks like Shark Tank will wrap its season by late February, so Nightline will take its place. So I guess that means Primetime: WWYD is going back to summer and/or is filling a hole somewhere in the spring schedule.

    Good for Kimmel. I don’t like him that much, but I prefer him to both Leno and Letterman.

  • Tom

    I wouldn’t worry too much about room on Fridays – there’s no guarantee TGIF will be there for long, either because the shows are used as spackle elsewhere or because of ratings (or both).

  • Melissa

    Wow bold move for late night and abc. I think it’s a great idea though, since Craig Ferguson is moving to a new studio and going to get more viewers. jimmy wouldn’t have a chance against him if he stayed at 12:35.

  • Networkman

    I really don’t like Nightline also airing during primetime on Friday night. As someone mentioned two newsmagazine shows back to back is a bit much. I would prefer to see Body of Proof on Friday night.

    8pm Shark Tank
    9pm Body of Proof
    10pm 20/20

  • Tony

    In the future it’s going to be Kimmel vs Fallon vs Ferguson.

  • Fred

    Being a huge fan of Kimmel , I celebrate the move. My bet is his fan base will support him AND perhaps grab some viewers from the aging Jay Leno & David Letterman.
    I also enjoy NightLine but not so sure how it will perform at a later hour or in Prime Time. but I will be there.

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