Nightline shortened for Kimmel to move to midnight


“Jimmy Kimmel Live!” is getting an earlier start time next month, which means that “Nightline” is going to be a bit shorter on ABC.

ABC News President Ben Sherwood told Nightline staffers that the network is firmly committed to the news show as part of its late night strategy. So Nightline will still kick off the nighttime schedule at 11:35 pm ET, against Jay Leno on NBC and David Letterman on CBS.

“Last year, ABC told Jimmy Kimmel that he would get a new start time – moving to midnight effective February 4, 2011,” Sherwood said in his email. He quoted Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks, and President, Disney/ABC Television Group, as saying that the time change is “a strategic move that better leverages the strength and value of both Nightline and Jimmy Kimmel Live for our network.”

So Nightline will be six minutes shorter. But Sherwood also noted that ABC News is going to have the Nightline crew produce 13 hours of primetime programming this year.