ABC May Move Kimmel to 11:35

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2009 9:29 PM CST
Jay Leno performs stand-up comedy, during a Middlesex Community College Celebrity Forum event at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium in Lowell, Mass.   (AP Photo/Lisa Poole)
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(Newser) – ABC is exploring the idea of moving Jimmy Kimmel's show to 11:35 later this year, in place of Nightline, so he can compete directly with Conan O'Brien, the New York Times reports. ABC denies it, and the speculation all comes from anonymous sources. But those sources say that ABC is trying to figure out how to better compete with NBC once the Leno-O'Brien time-slot changes kick in. Kimmel now starts at 12:05.

All of which begs the question: What happens to Nightline, which has been in the 11:35 slot for nearly 30 years. The news department is anxious to protect its show, the Times notes, which has seen resurgent ratings of late. But the rise of network entertainment divisions and the corresponding descent of news departments' clout could make that difficult.