ABC News is swapping the timeslots of “Nightline” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in January.
In a memo to ABC staffers this afternoon, president Ben Sherwood wrote “ABC believes it has a strong growth opportunity in late night if Jimmy Kimmel Live precedes Nightline.”
Beginning January 8, Kimmel will air at 11:35pmET. The move puts Kimmel in direct competition with NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and CBS’ “Late Night with David Letterman.”
“Nightline,” which has had great ratings success in its current timeslot, will shift to an hour later, at 12:35amET, and will expand from 25 to 30 minutes. (The program was shortened last year when Kimmel moved to midnight.) “Nightline” will also get an additional hour each Friday night at 9pmET beginning in March. With the additional production, the network is expected to hire more people for the show.
“These changes take effect 20 weeks from now, and until then, Nightline remains in its existing time slot with a lot of important work to do, including covering two conventions, four debates and a presidential election,” Sherwood wrote. “Our viewers are counting on us to deliver the exceptional journalism that has always defined Nightline.”
Sherwood’s full memo to staffers, as well as the official announcement from ABC, are both after the jump.