The Jimmy Kimmel Live! host discussed his future on SiriusXM’s The Howard Stern Show, but admitted that he doesn’t know whether he will continue after the show’s 20th season.
“I vacillate. I do love being off. I love not working. It’s really so much better than working, and the ideal situation is having people do my job for me while I continue to get paid. But I don’t know. I don’t know. I think I know sometimes, and then when it comes time to make the decision, then I feel like I don’t know. But we’ll see. When I have to make that decision, I will make that decision,” he said.
It comes as Kimmel is back on the show after the summer off – a benefit of his last contract that he signed in 2019, giving him a decent summer break with the show continuing with guest hosts.
The show has been performing well in the ratings, coming second to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last season and beating The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Rob Mills, EVP, Unscripted and Alternative Entertainment, Walt Disney Television, told Deadline how pleased he was with Kimmel’s recent ratings.
It’s evident that ABC wouldn’t want to lose him, particularly as there is no ready-made replacement for him given that the Disney-owned network doesn’t have a show that follows Kimmel in the same way that NBC and CBS have Seth Meyers and James Corden.
“I know I’m on the home team here but I think, Jimmy, really is the best host of late-night. It’s really a golden era, I think Fallon, Conan and Trevor Noah, they’re all fantastic, but Jimmy’s got the institutional knowledge. He’s been there the longest now and he’s still great every night. We’re really excited [by the performance],” Mills told Deadline in May.
Kimmel has a bit of time to decide, but as we’ve seen with the recent news that Corden is currently negotiating a new deal at CBS, as revealed by Deadline, on a similar timeframe to Kimmel, it is dealmaking time.
He has also been ramping up his producing efforts after he teamed with Leftfield Entertainment founder Brent Montgomery to launch media company Kimmelot as a joint venture with Montgomery’s Wheelhouse Entertainment.
The host, who also spoke to Stern about his documentary about the ’86 New York Mets, Once Upon a Time in Queens, also said that he’s rooting for Conan O’Brien to win the Emmy this weekend.
He said he thinks that Jimmy Kimmel Live! wouldn’t pick up the statue for Outstanding Variety Talk Series, but said that he was hoping for a win for the retired Conan, rather than Last Week Tonight, which has won five years in a row.
“You would rather he win the Emmy than you?” Howard asked.
“I’m not that nice a guy,” Jimmy said. “We would love to win the Emmy. I just know we’re not going to win the Emmy, so I think it would be a nice thing [if Conan wins].”
“Especially amongst comedians and his peers, he is thought of as one of the greats,” Kimmel added. “I think [an Emmy win is] certainly deserved. I know the Emmys isn’t a lifetime achievement type situation, but I do think that Conan—not only was he really funny and very consistent, which is hard—he stuck to his guns.”
“You will not find two funnier guys in real life than Conan and Andy,” he said.
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