Jimmy Kimmel is no longer vacillating.
The comedian is staying in late-night after extending his contract with ABC for a further three years.
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The deal ends a year of speculation within the late-night community after Kimmel told Howard Stern that he was debating whether to stick or twist.
The pact will keep Kimmel as host and exec producer of ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! through its 23rd season. January will mark the 20th anniversary of the show, which premiered in January 2003.
The deal means that he will surpass Jay Leno, who hosted NBC’s The Tonight Show for 22 years — though Kimmel still has a few years to go to catch up to Conan O’Brien, who spent 28 years in late-night; Johnny Carson, who hosted The Tonight Show for 30 years; and Kimmel’s hero David Letterman, who spent 33 years in late-night.
Jimmy Kimmel Live!, which received its 12th consecutive Emmy nomination for Outstanding Variety Talk Series this year, losing again to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, has surpassed The Tonight Show to move into second in the total average ratings, behind only CBS’ The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
Kimmel also is in business with ABC on a number of other projects, including host and exec producer of Live in Front of a Studio Audience with Norman Lear and creator and exec producer of Kelly Ripa-hosted game show Generation Gap as well as his annual roast at the Disney upfronts.
“After two decades at ABC, I am now looking forward to three years of what they call ‘quiet quitting,’” said Kimmel.
Later this month, Kimmel will return to New York for a week of shows in Brooklyn.
Jimmy Kimmel Live!, which airs at 11:35 p.m., is produced by 12:05 AM Productions, in association with Kimmelot and ABC Signature and exec produced by Kimmel, Erin Irwin, Molly McNearney, Jennifer Sharron and David Craig.
“For 20 years, Jimmy Kimmel has been a huge part of the ABC family and the heartbeat of late-night television,” said Craig Erwich president of ABC Entertainment, Hulu & Disney Branded Television Streaming Originals. “Not only has he entertained our audiences night after night with his sharp comedy, dynamic interviews and irreverent humor, but he has gotten us through some of the most momentous events in our history with optimism and heart. There is no one funnier and more authentic than Jimmy. We are so proud of the incredibly talented team at Jimmy Kimmel Live! and could not be happier to continue our partnership.”
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