'Jimmy Kimmel' Moves to Midnight

ABC cuts 'Nightline' to 25 minutes, gives it 13 hours of primetime this year
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ABC is moving late night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live up to midnight and cutting Nightline back to 25 minutes, according to an internal memo from ABC News chief Ben Sherwood.

"James Goldston and I have discussed this change and he is developing a new format to maximize the amount of Nightline's editorial content and minimize the disruption to our program. I've seen initial plans and can assure you that our audience shouldn't notice any change to this powerful, proven and successful show."

Kimmel will move to its new midnight start time Feb. 4.

In exchange for the lost five minutes of program time, ABC has committed to giving Nightline 13 hours of primetime to produce in 2011.

Nightline marked several successes this year, which likely helped solidify its place in ABC's late night schedule. For the first
time in 15 years, it finished the 2009-10 season as the most-watched late night
program among total viewers
,
topping Late Show with David Letterman and The Tonight Show. It also beat out
its competition in total viewers for the first time in a fourth quarter in late
2010 and with the news program's target adults 25-54 in the same period, a first ever quarterly win
in that demo for Nightline.

The gains put the program in first place
season-to-date among total viewers and adults 25-54 for the first time since
1993.

A spokesperson for Jimmy Kimmel declined to comment to B&C on the scheduling move.

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