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ABC's 'Jimmy Kimmel Live'‎ gains six minutes

January 20, 2011 |  3:14 pm

Jimmy kimmel The late-night TV changes never cease.

In the battle between news and comedy, Jimmy Kimmel is coming out victorious.

Starting Feb. 4, “Jimmy Kimmel Live” is getting an early start. Well, an earlier start. It will now air weeknights at midnight, gaining six minutes (still ending at 1:06 a.m.), as “Nightline” gets trimmed.

In an e-mail to staffers, ABC News President Ben Sherwood said:  “Both ‘Nightline’ and ‘Kimmel’ are valuable franchises for ABC for different reasons, and in discussing the shift, Anne Sweeney [Co-Chair of Disney Media Networks and President of Disney-ABC Television Group] told me: This is a strategic move that better leverages the strength and value of both Nightline and Jimmy Kimmel Live for our network. The midnight start for Kimmel keeps Nightline where it is, anchoring our late night lineup –- where it regularly beats the competition -- and gives Jimmy the chance to leverage that strong lead-in more effectively with a quicker connection to late night viewers, which will help him build on the great momentum his show has experienced over the past year.”

Sherwood goes on to say that plans are in the works to give "Nightline" a new format to make the most of its editorial content in its shortened time.

-- Yvonne Villarreal

Photo: Jimmy Kimmel. Credit: ABC