Kimmel's new deal means he'll remain the host of "Jimmy Kimmel Live" through at least January 2017. While he's currently losing the 11:35 p.m. timeslot to new "Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon, Kimmel's had success in that spot compared to his previous 12:05 a.m. show, with viewership for "Live" up 28 percent in its full first season at the earlier time.
While ABC's maneuver in securing Kimmel for two more years is a huge vote of confidence, the host is set to once again face some stiff competition in his timeslot when Stephen Colbert takes over CBS's "The Late Show" from retiring host David Letterman sometime in 2015. Kimmel has been steadily beating Letterman by about 162,000 viewers since his transition to 11:35, but the buzzy Colbert could prove tougher to trump.
It seems that we'll have to wait until at least next year to find out how this all shakes out. CBS still needs to fill the seat of the also retiring "Late Late Show" host Craig Ferguson (set to depart at the end of 2014), and Comedy Central is still planning out how -- or if -- it will replace Colbert once he vacates his "Colbert Report." Late night talk shows, once predictable and staid, have suddenly become a lot more unpredictable.