With ‘Leno’ On the Ropes, ‘Kimmel Live’ Moves to 11:35 for the KO

While it’s still the number one program in late night, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno has seen better days, as it was announced last week that the show had to cut about 10% of its staffers along with host, Leno, taking a pay cut to prevent any more firings to his staff.

Now Jimmy Kimmel Live is moving up to 11:35 to create a three-way battle with he and David Letterman is coming on the heels of a hot 2012 for the former game show sidekick.

In April, he got rave reviews from attendees at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner—in which he hi-fived the President — he’ll be hosting the upcoming Emmys, and he’s the only late-night talk show host that has seen an increase in ratings this year.

Kimmel slaying at the White House dinner is also interesting to note, because if you remember back to 2010, Leno was a guest speaker who earned critical pans across the board for his abhorrently lame and boring 20 minute set.

And, let’s all be honest here, Leno sucks. He’s going through the motions at best—his chemistry with guests is entirely absent and the ability to riff off the cuff both wittily and lucidly is something he just doesn’t possess (Letterman and Craig Ferguson are masters of such crafts).

With Leno staying way past his expiration date (the bulk of mindless American consumers content with absorbing vapid and wholly contrived conversations to blame, of course) and Letterman seemingly losing some wind in his sails due to his advancing age, the fields are ripe for a Jimmy Kimmel late night take-over.

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