Jimmy Kimmel today said Jay Leno reminds him of Jason from the Friday the 13th horror movies. “Just when you think he’s dead, he comes back,” said the ABC late night host Wednesday on a conference call about his show’s move to 11:35 PM next year. Kimmel was addressing rumors that Jimmy Fallon could replace The Tonight Show host in the next few years. “The fact is that NBC is going to make a decision someday. As much as he would like it, Jay Leno can’t stay on television forever and Jimmy Fallon is the heir apparent,” Kimmel said of his soon-to-be direct rival come January 8, 2013. While Kimmel admitted that he didn’t like what he perceived as Leno scheming against his hero David Letterman over who would take over The Tonight Show from Johnny Carson back in 1992 in the end “Jay’s just another guy doing a TV show.” Kimmel also said that The Tonight Show’s move to a minute earlier at 11:34 PM doesn’t worry him much either. “It tells me that they are a bit concerned,” said Kimmel on a conference call Wednesday. “I’ll be curious to see how long that goes on. That’s a trick designed to bring up their ratings in the first month,” he added. “What really matters is how you do in May and that’s when we’ll know where we stand.”
Kimmel said today that not a lot will change on his show when it moves to 11:35 PM. “It will pretty much be the same show we’ve always been doing,” he said. There’s this idea that you need to broaden the show or make it more wholesome, and I think that is outdated,” he added. “The jokes will remain exactly the same,” he said. “We’re moving 25 minutes earlier. From a Standards and Practices standpoint it’s not a huge difference.”
ABC announced in late August that after a decade in the midnight slot it was moving Kimmel to 11:35 PM. Starting January 8, 2013, this will put Kimmel Live in head-to-head competition with NBC’s The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and CBS’ Late Show With David Letterman. The ABC talk show hit some solid highs this year with a debut visit from First Lady Michelle Obama in late October and a first time appearance by David Letterman on Halloween. Kimmel also hosted the Primetime Emmys this year and was the headliner at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner in April.