ABC announced a power move for Jimmy Kimmel on Tuesday, saying it would reschedule Jimmy Kimmel Live! to 11:30 p.m., in what sounds like a plan to take on the cable stars of that time slot as well as the old network guys. Kimmel's new time slot puts him opposite David Letterman on CBS and Jay Leno on NBC, and displaces Nightline, which ABC will move to Kimmel's old slot at 12:30 a.m. But it also puts Kimmel against The Colbert Report on Comedy Central and Conan O'Brien, whose hour-long TBS show starts at 11 p.m. Kimmel, who hosted the White House correspondents dinner and will host the Emmys this month, "is in the zeitgeist," Disney/ABC president Anne Sweeney told The New York Times Bill Carter. "When his videos go viral, they really go viral," such as Kimmel's lie detector tests of children or his encouraging parents to tell their kids they ate all their Halloween candy. Viral video is something you get a lot more of from O'Brien and Colbert than from Leno and Letterman. So ABC hopes to channel some of that online strength into ad sales for which it can charge more on an entertainment program than a news show Nightline. The network is also hoping that by the time Leno and Letterman retire, Kimmel will own that time slot.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.