ABC Picks Up ‘Kimmel Live’

Oct 20, 2004  •  Post A Comment

ABC has picked up a third season of “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” which will keep the host, whose show debuted after the Super Bowl in January 2003, on the ABC payroll through the year 2005.

“I’m delighted that ABC has exhausted all other options and picked up mine for another year. In 2006 I’ll be 38 years old, and I promised Mavis I would take her out for dinner before I turned 40,” said Mr. Kimmel, borrowing from Jay Leno’s statement explaining why he had let NBC give him five years’ notice that Conan O’Brien would take over “The Tonight Show” at the end of 2009.

Taped at 8 p.m. (PT) each weeknight, “Kimmel” has earned good notices but remains in third place, averaging 1.577 million viewers for the season to date against the second half-hours of “Tonight” and “Late Show With David Letterman” and against the first half-hours of “Late Late Show” on CBS and Mr. O’Brien’s “Late Night” on NBC.

As for what the short-term Kimmel pickup means for “Nightline,” which was treated as expendable by the ABC executives wooing Mr. Letterman in 2002, the only thing certain is that “Nightline” will be on the air when it celebrates its 25th anniversary next May.