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ABC Moves ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ To Midnight, Shortens ‘Nightline’

Nellie Andreeva

ABC has confirmed long-running speculation that as part of Jimmy Kimmel’s new two-year deal with ABC, the comedian had asked for his latenight talk show on the network to be moved up from 12:05 AM to midnight. The change will come into effect on Feb.4. ABC News president Ben Sherwood just sent out this memo elaborating on the impact Jimmy Kimmel Live‘s earlier start time will have on Nightline, whose running time will be shortened to 25 minutes. Among other things, ABC News is getting a commitment for 13 hourlong primetime editions of Nightline to air on ABC. Nightline, which recently ranked as the most watched program in late night, had long been a target as the only non-entertainment program to air on the Big 3 networks after 11PM. A decade ago, ABC brass famously plotted to replace it with a David Letterman-hosted talk show. Here is Sherwood’s email:

I’m writing to share some important news about Nightline.

First and foremost, today ABC has definitively answered one of the recurring questions about Nightline and ABC News:  The company firmly believes Nightline is a vital part of its successful late night strategy and Nightline will anchor the schedule at 11:35 PM.  Period.

Last year, ABC told Jimmy Kimmel that he would get a new start time – moving to midnight effective February 4, 2011.  Obviously, this fact will move

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Jimmy Kimmel Signs New Two-Year Deal With ABC For ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’

By | Monday December 13, 2010 @ 2:27pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Jimmy Kimmel has signed a new two-year extension with ABC to continue as the host/executive producer of the network’s late-night show Jimmy Kimmel Live!, which will continue to air at 12:05 AM for the time being. The new deal will take the show into its 10th season. Kimmel’s current pact was up next month. During this past November sweep, Jimmy Kimmel Live posted year-to-year increases in both total viewers and adults 18-49, growing its audience for the 4th time in the past 5 years.  In total viewers Kimmel (1.86 million) outdelivered Jimmy Fallon (1.79 million) or CBS’ Craig Ferguson (1.79 million). The best news about the renewal – Kimmel can continue to be a fixture at ABC’s May upfront presentation in New York.

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