‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ Sets ABC Return Date, Books Joe Biden For Digital Quarantine Edition

Nellie Andreeva

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Jimmy Kimmel Live! will return to television on Monday (March 30) with remotely produced episodes. Host Jimmy Kimmel just dropped the news on Twitter and announced presidential candidate Joe Biden as his guest for tonight’s (March 25) abbreviated quarantine digital edition of the program.

Guests next week include: Samuel L Jackson, Jennifer Aniston, Jeff Tweedy, Grouplove and more. It has not been determined yet whether the show will move back to its regular 11:35 PM slot when it comes back with originals on ABC or will remain at 12:05 AM, following Nightline.

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Kimmel returned with homemade “quarantine minilogue” online videos on Tuesday last week, shortly after production on all late-night shows had been shut down the previous weekend. Starting with a short topical monologue and remote celebrity interviews, Kimmel earlier this week was the first late-night host to introduce in-person interviews by chatting with comedian Bill Burr from across the street to comply with social distancing rules. (You can watch that installment of Jimmy Kimmel Live’s quarantine series below.)

The news follows CBS’ announcement yesterday that The Late Show With Stephen Colbert too will resume airing original episodes produced remotely by Colbert, hist staff and crew starting on Monday, March 30. NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon has been airing hybrid episodes on TV, featuring the daily video segments shot by Fallon at home, including celebrity interviews via Zoom, s well as highlights from an encore episode.

Jimmy Kimmel Live! is in a different position than its broadcast counterparts The Tonight Show and The Late Show. While the NBC and CBS 11:35 PM programs have another late-night show as a lead-out, Late Night with Seth Meyers and The Late Late Show with James Corden, respectively, Jimmy Kimmel Live‘s companion is a newsmagazine, Nightline, whose profile has risen with its coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

In light of the public demand for information during the health crisis, ABC at the top of last week, swapped Nightline and Jimmy Kimmel Live!, with the newsmagazine, devoted to COVID-19 content, airing at 11:35 PM, followed by Jimmy Kimmel Live repeats.

With a potent Nightline lead-in, Jimmy Kimmel Live! last week delivered its strongest hiatus week in more than a year among total viewers (1.611 million) and Adults 18-49 (401,000) despite airing in the later 12:05 AM time period.

Comedy Central’s half-hour The Daily Show was the first late-night talker to return to TV with full-length originals generated from home this past Monday. TBS’ Full Frontal With Samantha Bee and Conan, Showtime’s Desus & Mero as well as HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Real Time with Bill Maher also announced that they would resume airing original episodes shot in home environment. NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers started posting online exclusive editions of A Closer Look this week.

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