'Jimmy Kimmel Live' Moved to 11:35 PM; 'Nightline' Bumped to 12:35 AM

The Hollywood Reporter
'Jimmy Kimmel Live' Moved to 11:35 PM; 'Nightline' Bumped to 12:35 AM

On the eve of Jimmy Kimmel Live’s 10th anniversary on air, the ABC late night show is finally getting its bump to the coveted 11:35 pm slot, moving Nightline to 12:35 pm.

The move will put the network’s late night franchise in a slot that allows it to go head-to-head with NBC’s Tonight Show with Jay Leno and CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman. JKL will shift into the new time period Tuesday, Jan. 8, a day after the network airs the BCS national championship game.

VIDEOS: 5 Best Clips of Jimmy Kimmel Live!

In early 2011, ABC announced it is was trimming five minutes off the end of Nightline, which would allow JKL to move from 12:05 am to midnight, as part of Kimmel's new two-year deal. At the time, ABC News President Ben Sherwood stressed that Nightline would stay put at 11:35 pm, and that the move was a “strategic” means to better leverage the strength and value of both shows. A decade earlier, ABC was prepared to dump the news program for a Letterman-fronted late night show.

The news comes as the recently engaged Kimmel continues his year of firsts: the first time he emceed the White House Correspondents Dinner; the first time he was invited to host the Emmy Awards; and the first time his late-night series is up for an Emmy in the late night or variety show category.

Kimmel's late night show is coming off of its most-watched July ever, making ABC the only major broadcaster to see year-to-year growth in late-night in total viewers. During the July sweep, the series surged 14 percent in total viewers. For its part, Nightline ranked no. 1 among the key demos – both adults 25-54 and adults 18-49—during the same period, beating both NBC’s The Tonight Show and CBS’ The Late Show.

Email: Lacey.Rose@THR.com; Twitter: @LaceyVRose