Jimmy Kimmel to go head-to-head with Jay Leno, David Letterman

There is some big news coming out of the world of late night, and it is that Jimmy Kimmel is no longer going to settle for hosting a show that is 25 minutes later than some of his competition.

On Tuesday, it was announced that beginning in January, “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” is going to take over the 11:35 p.m. Eastern timeslot once occupied by “Nightline,” and will now try to compete directly against the titans “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “The Late Show with David Letterman.” From an ego standpoint, we understand the move — it gives Kimmel an opportunity to carry over more of a lead-in to his show, and he can also say that he has the prime timeslot now for late-night programming.

At the same time, though, we wonder whether this move is the right one from a programming perspective. Many late-night viewers opt to watch the opening monologue and go to bed, and those sort of casual Kimmel viewers no longer have the option of switching over after Letterman is done telling his jokes — they have to choose. Kimmel is also putting himself more in the line of fire against Conan O’Brien and Stephen Colbert, and there were already too many cooks in the late-night kitchen. (On the positive side, he does no longer compete with Craig Ferguson and Jimmy Fallon at 12:35.) The other issue here is that Kimmel’s move does cause “Nightline,” which has actually performed well in the ratings against Leno and Letterman, to be shifted back to compete against Fallon and Ferguson.

In a phone call with the New York Times, Kimmel says that he is grateful for the vote of confidence — even though he admits that this is not a move that he asked ABC to make.

What do you think about Kimmel moving up? To check out some more news on this subject, be sure and read our story here.

Photo: ABC

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