In Depth

Women in Television: Jill Leiderman

Who: Jill Leiderman, executive producer, “Jimmy Kimmel Live”

Women in TV

Why: Since Ms. Leiderman became “Jimmy Kimmel’s” showrunner in April 2006, the ABC show has defined itself as a late-night home for such eye-opening comedy as Sarah Silverman’s “I’m F***ing Matt Damon” video and her once-again boyfriend Jimmy Kimmel’s “I’m F***ing Ben Affleck” video reply. Mr. Kimmel also has become ABC’s programming weapon of choice, with pre-game shows during the NBA Finals and a sendup of Barbara Walters’ specials before the network’s Primetime Emmy Awards broadcast in September. Plus, his late-night talk show has become the first stop for ousted “Dancing With the Stars” evictees. In Ms. Leiderman’s first full season, the ratings grew 10%. Last spring, “Kimmel” returned from the writers strike with 96% of its audience intact, the best record in late night.

What: At her first breakfast with Mr. Kimmel, she made up her mind that she wanted “to bring Jimmy through the screen and show who he is.” She has never looked back.

When she looks forward, she does not get distracted by the scheduled exit of late-night king Jay Leno from NBC’s “The Tonight Show” next year and the speculation that ABC is at the front of the line of Leno suitors. She puts her faith in the improved quality of “Jimmy Kimmel” and its guest bookings and the investment the network has made in the show and its host. “Jimmy has proven that he and the show are creatively firing on all cylinders,” she says. She recognized him in 2006 as a man who “is in it for the long haul.” The same can be said of Ms. Leiderman.