MSN TV Blog - TV Buzz

Kimmel poised to win game of late-night thrones

Post-Oscars special affirms his future dominance

By Corey Levitan Feb 25, 2013 1:25PM

Jimmy Fallon may host the late-night NBC talk show abdicated long ago by David Letterman. But a different Jimmy stands in the actual on-deck circle. Whenever Letterman retires, and that shouldn't be too much longer, the host of "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" will move into his slot -- at least in the public's mind.

Bing: More on Jimmy Kimmel | "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"

Six weeks after ABC moved him to compete against Letterman and Jay Leno at 11:35 p.m., Jimmy Kimmel is only trailing Leno by 70,000 viewers in the coveted 18-49 demographic, according to the New York Post, while he's already beating Letterman by 13 percent.

His skills are undeniable, so I won't try to deny them. Kimmel is an hysterical host, a consummate blender of anti-establishment angst and self-deprecation with Johnny Carson's knack for how to make his guests shine.

But the dude does owe some of his success to random luck. For instance, had Leno and Conan O'Brien not had that showdown that sent O'Brien to TBS and two steps down the showbiz ladder, O'Brien would probably be in third place and generating much of the buzz now attributed to Kimmel.

Plus: Obituaries for shows ending in 2013 | TV's break-out stars

And Kimmel keeps getting A-listers for his Oscar specials. In reality, this is simply a benefit of taping across the street from the ceremony, where the A-listers are already gathered. (Last night, it was Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum who entered Kimmel's set without having to bother their limo drivers.) But the public doesn't care about logistics. To them, these appearances validate Kimmel's Hollywood heat.

It could either be Fallon or O'Brien battling Kimmel in tomorrow's late-night wars. But it's Leno's shoes one of them will be filling, because Letterman's are already spoken for.

Do you think Jimmy Kimmel deserves to be the next David Letterman?

"Jimmy Kimmel Live!" airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

Feb 26, 2013 4:08AM
Wow! So I guess Conan has fallen pretty far down when the person writing an article about Late-night talk shows doesn't even know the correct station where his show airs - it's on TBS & not TNT.
Feb 25, 2013 10:14PM

Jimmy FALLON has the best Late Night Talk Show! He is so creative, funny, real and so talented.

He gives 100% every night.

His skits with Brian Williams are incredible.

Him and Timberlake are excellent together with their Rap segments.

No comparison, Jimmy is great.

Feb 25, 2013 6:52PM
I have to agree with Carol about Jimmy Kimmel is going to be the next Jimmy Kimmel, but it is nice to know others are starting to notice that Jimmy Kimmel is a 1000 times better the Letterman, and as for Jimmy Fallon, he is great in what he does, but hosting a late night show he is bombing no matter what anyone thinks, childish humor and not very funny skits drive me to change the channel for a cable show like Ax men. Jimmy Kimmel is on track to be the next Carson and Leno Kings of late night and a welcome face in homes to get a good laugh aftera long day. And to top it off all you have to do is look at the star power he drawes, From oscar winning actors to some of musics greatest starts, including closing down Hollywood Blvd, Jimmy has it all and can't wait to see him sit in the thrown.
Feb 25, 2013 6:10PM

Kimmel is a pro.


Fallon is a stooge.



Feb 25, 2013 5:51PM
Jimmy Kimmel is going to be the next Jimmy Kimmel!!!
Look out!

Feb 25, 2013 3:02PM
i think i chimp could replace Letterman.
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