Jimmy Kimmel‘s ascent was slow but sure, as he went from a ringleader of C-list guests to someone who could get Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Harrison Ford to sing about his sex life. And if he’s always felt like the little guy in the face of Jay Leno and David Letterman, it was partly because his show began thirty minutes after theirs. Starting in January, he’ll be going head to head with both.
And though the move of Kimmel to 11:35 is a big deal for Kimmel and crew, it seems to say more about Nightline, the ABC staple that tackled global news for a half hour every night. It’s moving to 12:35 a.m. Where it will face Jimmy Fallon and Craig Ferguson.
Like the collapse of newspapers, this seems to be a paradigm shift, but also a situation that ABC was bound to face. Nightline used to be important, but in the face of 24 hour news channels its value became that much less. Of course – as Variety notes – when Letterman was looking for a new network after Leno got The Tonight Show, they wouldn’t budge from the 11:30 slot. Twenty years later, it looks like they couldn’t fend of Kimmel, who has probably wanted this for a long time.
What late night talk shows do you watch?