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Jimmy Kimmel Talks New Time Slot, Dream Guests, More

By on January 3, 2013

Jimmy Kimmel

Jimmy Kimmel Live is on the move. The Emmy nominated late-night talk show debuts in a new 11:35 pm (0:35 pm c) time slot starting Tuesday January 8th. Screen Spy caught up with Kimmel last week to discuss the move, any likely changes to the format and who sits at the top his dream guest list. (It’s not Matt Damon).

Speaking of the decision to move the weeknight staple to a new time slot (with tongue planted firmly in cheek), Kimmel said “Well, the big deal is that, for some reason, people go to sleep at midnight.  You lose a lot of people at that time.  I think people look at their clock and they say, midnight is the time I am going to go to bed.  And so, the audience is just much bigger.  There’s a lot more people up watching television at 11:35 than there are at midnight.  It’s as simple as that.

“And besides that – and maybe this is just something that we in the industry are more interested in than the general public is – but there’s mythology and traditions surrounding that 11:35 time slot that started with Johnny Carson and then became a big deal when Leno went up against Letterman.  And so, people are interested in it from that standpoint as well.”

So will the new time mean a new format? “I wouldn’t necessarily call anything new because we test things,” explained Kimmel. “I don’t even know if test is the right word. We try things on the show.  And we’ve been trying the different things for the last few months to see what we might want to add to the rotation.  We have added some things that we’ve gotten some really good responses from. There’s this thing called “Live Witness News” where we ask people questions and, basically, we lead them into lying.

“We asked people who they thought won the first lady debate during the election, and, of course, there wasn’t a first lady debate, and we asked people what they think of the new iPhone and we hand them the old iPhone and then they give us their opinions on it.  And we’ve been trying some man on the street type bits out and so those things will become regular parts of the show.”

Over the course of its ten year run, Jimmy Kimmel Live has seen an impressive rota of guests. Is there anyone he would love to have the opportunity to interview?

“Oh, there’s a lot of people,” Kimmel confesses. “But at the top of my list probably Bill Murray, Steve Martin. These are guys that I’ve admired for a long time and who are great talk-show guests who’ve never been to the show.  So, I – if I had to name two, that would be them.”

Catch Jimmy Kimmel Live Tuesday January 8th, in its new 11:35 pm time slot on ABC.

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