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The new deal keeps the late-night host on the network through January 2017.
ABC’s move to maintain stability in its late-night programming comes amid shake-ups at rivals NBC and CBS. NBC recently completed high-profile hosting changes at The Tonight Show and Late Night, moving Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers into the hosting chairs.
At CBS, longtime Late Show host David Letterman recently announced his plans to retire in 2015, with the network quickly naming Stephen Colbert as his successor. Not long after the Colbert announcement, Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson announced his plans to leave CBS at the end of this year.
Elsewhere in late night, E! host Chelsea Handler has said she’ll leave the network at the end of the year, and Comedy Central is looking for a replacement for Colbert’s Colbert Report when that show ends at the end of this year.
In the key 18-49 demo, Kimmel pulls in 917,000 viewers, outpacing Letterman by 162,000 viewers. At the time of his departure, Leno outranked his broadcast rivals with 1.13 million demo viewers, but Kimmel’s momentum undoubtedly factored into NBC’s decision to move Fallon into the 11:35 Tonight Show slot. As of February, Kimmel’s first complete season at 11:35 p.m. was up 28 percent over the previous year, when he ran almost exclusively in the 12:05 a.m. slot.
But in his first two months since taking over Tonight, Fallon has pulled in more viewers in the 18-49 demo than Letterman or Kimmel.
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