What The Upfronts Mean For News, Comedy News

By SteveK 

The broadcast and cable networks are holding their Upfronts this month – most this week – hoping to get their piece of the $9 billion advertising pie. One of the most talked about stories today is the remarks from ABC’s late-night host Jimmy Kimmel at ABC’s upfront yesterday. A monologue that left the New York Times wondering if Kimmel would “still [have] a job at ABC on Wednesday.”

There was this: “Every year we lie to you and every year you come back for more.” And this: “You don’t need an upfront. You need therapy.” And that old classic: “We completely lie to you, and then you pass those lies onto your clients.”

Kimmel, who joked he is “all of ABC’s late night comedy talent,” will continue to air after midnightET on ABC this fall as Nightline keeps a grip on the 11:35pmET/10:35pmCT slot in most markets. Last month TVNewser asked Nightline EP James Goldston about the connection with Kimmel. “I think the relationship is perfectly cordial,” he said. “It’s there as a news alternative. There are a lot of comedy shows, and there’s only one Nightline.” Goldston also thinks NBC moving Jay Leno to 10pmET works for his show: “It can only be an opportunity for us. We’re the #2 show in late night now and the show that’s #1 one is going to be playing five nights a week at 10 O’Clock.”


At yesterday’s event, Kimmel also took a shot at Leno joking that NBC is “giving Jay’s viewers exactly what they want: An early-bird special.”

In the comedy news area, NBC is bringing back Weekend Update Thursday, the half-hour show it launched during the presidential election. The AP reports SNL will produce at least six episodes of Weekend Update Thursday beginning in September.

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