'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.

  • Charles

    Monikka is a pain in the a#* from another thread who contributes little but loves to make her presence known.

    I’m just wondering if they’ll finally drop “Live” from the title as it’s not live. If they do it live again, that will be a hook for more viewers.

  • Monikka


    Thank you for the recognition. I don’t post that often but obviously my posts have staying power.

    C’mon, people. This is Jimmy Kimmel we’re talking about. Name one talent that will enable him to overtake Leno or Letterman. One. Just one. Hell, half of one.

  • Gary Middleton

    Monikka, is being 20 years younger a talent?

  • Charles

    Not to mention being the only late night host to consistently grow in ratings and make good amounts of money for the network?

  • Ben

    ABC has been wanting to get rid of Nightline for years. Remember when they went behind Ted Koppel’s back and tried to lure David Letterman to ABC? I am worried that having 3 talk shows at 11:30 PM will result in very low ratings for at least one of the talk shows in that time slot. The era of Johnny Carson, (on NBC of course), owning the 11:30 PM to 12:30 AM time slot are long gone. There are too many other channels, and too many other choices, for another person to have the monopoly that he did many decades ago. I like David Letterman, Jay Leno, and Jimmy Kimmel, (as well at the other talk show hosts), but, they are going to have to settle for an increasing smaller audience watching their shows.

  • Monikka

    Gary Middleton said “is being 20 years younger a talent?”

    Not even half of one. I had to google Kimmel’s age to see if that’s right. It is. He’s 20 years younger than Letterman, 17 than Leno.

    I can’t believe it. His toupee and squinty eyes make him seem years older.

    Speaking seriously, maybe his narcolepsy has taken its toll on his immune system.

  • Carmen

    I suspect that Kimmel will hurt Letterman more than Leno. I mean in the sense that he will siphon off more of Lettermans audience than Leno’s

  • Tony

    Leno and Letterman are getting old, they’re probably both going to retire in 2014. After that Fallon and Ferguson will move to 11:35 where Kimmel has been hosting a show for over a year already, building his new audience.

    Sure, Leno might beat Kimmel in his last year as the host of the Tonight Show but what about Fallon?

  • GARebelman

    Kimmel’s median age is 53 so he isn’t as young skewing as all of you are somehow believing.

  • harsh reality

    Jimmy Fallon would be an utter disaster at 11:30

    Also, it’s unfair to call Kimmel the next “Conan” when Kimmel won’t have to deal with the trainwreck known as the Jay Leno Show.

    Kimmel was in a perfect niche at 12:00 and I think this will hurt more than help.

  • Frank

    When NBC tells Jay Leno that they’re not renewing his contract, you’re going to see a temper tantrum like you’ve never seen before…

    …although Bill Carter alludes to NBC possibly giving Leno an extension in his recent article.

  • Mike

    Lead ins don’t matter as much as they once did, but to guarantee success ABC will have to buttress with strong 10PM shows, and uber market ABC affiliate news.

    NBC is looking at another crap fall lineup, CBS a little better.

  • Craig

    This is really a shocker. Who would have thought that 10 years ago, after ABC could not get any major late night players that they would luck out with Kimmel. After some rough beginnings, ABC supporting Kimmel with the After Academy shows and promoting him well has paid off. He is now set to become the late night star that Conan O’Brien didn’t. Congrats Jimmy, Uncle Frank would be proud!

  • Brad

    Think about this. Who is the most talked about host amongst the youth. I would have to say Conan, Stewart, Fallon, and Kimmel. Viewers have to make the choice of either Letterman or Leno. Kimmel is a great mix of both humours but more so puts a lot of effort into his show by doing viral videos like The Greatest Movie Ever, Lie Detector, and Parents Telling Their Kid’s They Ate Their Candy. People will give Kimmel the buzz he needs to make him Must-Watch if you happen to be up.

    Gary Middleton is absolutely correct. I never thought about it, but Kimmel is more relatable than Leno or Letterman for multiple reasons, but the one that stands out his age. Kimmel is in his 40s so those around his age or younger will want to be on his show, especially now that he’s in direct competition. My only doubt is that if Kimmel could never beat Leno’s worst half of his show versus Kimmel’s better half of his show, what makes this a sure beat that Kimmel will beat Leno or even Letterman for that matter.

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