In a late-night talk landscape that was thrown into turmoil with the announcement of David Letterman's retirement plans, one sign of stability has surfaced as Jimmy Kimmel re-upped with ABC for more "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"
Writing on Deadline.com, Nellie Andreeva reports: "ABC‘s late-night message to advertisers at the upfronts next week is clear: With all the changes in broadcast and cable, ABC is the epitome of stability. As supporting evidence, the network has extended the contract of its late-night host Jimmy Kimmel for two extra years, keeping him on board through at least January 2017."
Andreeva notes: "Kimmel is in a stronger position than his broadcast rivals — while they are hosts of late-night franchises, 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' was created by him for him, almost like Comedy Central’s 'The Colbert Report' and Stephen Colbert. Come next year when David Letterman retires, Kimmel will be the longest-serving broadcast late-night host on the air."
The ABC late-night show launched in 2003, airing first at midnight. It moved into the competitive 11:30 p.m. slot in 2012.
"Kimmel started to make inroads in the young demos, which likely factored into NBC’s move several months later to replace Jay Leno with Jimmy Fallon," the report notes. Andreeva adds: "Fallon has been winning the 11:30 p.m. battle since taking 'The Tonight Show' in February, which may have played a role in Letterman’s decision to retire from CBS’s 'Late Show.'"