This is a rather unusual cross-conglom promotion: Disney-owned ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live will have four of the biggest stars from Universal’s biggest tentpole of the year, Furious 7, next week. Also in a rare setup, Jimmy Kimmel will have one Furious 7 leading man every night Monday through Thursday, leading to the film’s April 3 opening: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham and Kurt Russell. Meanwhile, there will be two Furious 7 cast members on the late-night shows of Universal sibling NBC: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon has Jordana Brewster on Friday — after the movie will have opened — and Late Night With Seth Meyers will have Ludacris on Wednesday.
Some of the reasons likely are logistical as Furious 7‘s premiere is Wednesday at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Kimmel is based in Los Angeles, while both The Tonight Show and Late Night are in New York, and big-name guests generally don’t double-book two 11:30 PM broadcast shows the same week. Still, it seems odd that NBCUniversal is missing out on this potential late-night synergy.
To be fair, Diesel was on Tonight Show just last month and debuted the first Furious 7 trailer on the NBC late-night talker, and Johnson is hosting Saturday Night Live tomorrow. Additionally, Fallon had Ludacris and Ronda Rousey on this show this week.
Another potential driver for Universal’s Furious 7 Kimmel stunt: The ABC show is expected to attract a lot of male viewers — the target Furious 7 demographic — on Monday and Tuesday when veteran rock band Van Halen will be performing. Those are the nights Kimmel will have Diesel and Russell, respectively, so don’t be surprised if the fast-car theme continues and the band revs up “Panama.”