ABC is shifting its late-night strategy in a move that will put Jimmy Kimmel in direct competition with Jay Leno and David Letterman.
The network announced Tuesday that beginning January 8, Jimmy Kimmel Live will move to the 11:35 p.m. timeslot to replace Nightline, which will be pushed back to 12:35 a.m. ABC said Nightline will also add a primetime version to air every Friday night at 9 p.m. beginning March 1.
A news release said ABC was swapping the two shows "to better position the network for increased ratings and financial performance over the long term."
The press release noted that Jimmy Kimmel Live currently enjoys ratings momentum after increasing its total viewers by three percent in 2011-2012 over the previous season. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Late Show with David Letterman both lost viewers during the same period.