Jimmy Kimmel is joining the parade of latenight hosts returning to the air Jan. 2 per a ABC statement today. Like the others, he says he supports the writers, but he’s got a staff of “more than 100 people whose well-being depends on the show.”
No doubt ABC is taking note of one curiosity: Kimmel actually got more viewers in repeats than he did before he went out on strike. Taking the average of his last six weeks of originals against five weeks of repeats, Kimmel was down 9% in the 18-49 demo (compared to a 40% drop for NBC’s Jay Leno). But Kimmel actually raised his standing in total viewers 2% by not showing up.
This, of course, has everything to do with an improved “Nightline,” which is Kimmel’s lead-in. “Nightline,” which stayed in originals while Jay Leno and David Letterman recycled sometimes decade-old shows, won two consecutive weeks in the ratings for the first time since 1995.
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