A month out from hosting the Primetime Emmys, ABC's Jimmy
Kimmel is getting a big promotion.
Starting Jan. 8, Jimmy Kimmel Live will swap time
periods with Nightline, moving to 11:35 p.m. where the late-night talker
will compete head-to-head with NBC's Tonight Show With Jay Leno and CBS'
Late Show With David Letterman.
ABC said in the announcement Tuesday that the shift was
meant to "better position the network for increased ratings and financial
performance over the long term." Jimmy Kimmel Live's audience grew by 3%
in total viewers for the 2011-12 season, registering its most-watched season in
"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," said Ann Sweeney, co-chair,
Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group. "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
The network will use Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve
With Ryan Seacrest and its coverage of college football's Bowl Championship
Series, which wraps on Jan. 7 to promote the switch.
Beginning in March, Nightline will add a Friday
primetime hour at 9 p.m., again timed to leverage the promotional platform of
ABC's broadcast of the Academy Awards on Feb. 24. At that time, What Would
You Do? will move to another spot on the schedule.