Jimmy Kimmel Beats Jay Leno, David Letterman in New Time Slot

Entertainment Jan. 9, 2013 AT 1:30PM
Jay Leno; Jimmy Kimmel; David Letterman Jay Leno; Jimmy Kimmel; David Letterman Credit: Getty (3)

Is there a new King of Late Night? 

Jimmy Kimmel proved to be a worthy opponent for fellow late-night hosts Jay Leno and David Letterman on Tuesday, Jan. 8, when he went head-to-head with his rivals in the 11:35 p.m. time slot -- and won.

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Preliminary ratings indicate that ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live, which previously started at midnight, beat out both CBS's Late Show and NBC's Tonight Show in its debut at the new time. According to early Nielsen figures, Kimmel was viewed in 2.8 percent of households that have televisions, while Letterman and Leno were watched in 2.7 percent and 2.4 percent of households, respectively.

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The victory is no doubt a sweet one for the ABC host, 45 -- especially given his feelings toward Leno, whom he recently slammed in an interview with Rolling Stone.

"As a comedian, you can't not have disdain for what he's done," he told the magazine, alluding to his rival's storied history with Letterman and fellow late-night host Conan O'Brien. "He totally sold out. He was a master chef who opened a Burger King."

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Kimmel has been on the rise for some time now, but he got an extra boost of star power on Tuesday when pal Jennifer Aniston appeared as the show's featured guest. After chatting with her host about their recent couples trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, with Aniston's fiance Justin Theroux, Kimmel's fiancee Molly McNearney, and John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, the We're the Millers actress gave Kimmel a haircut on live TV

"I'm so nervous, I'm kind of shaking. I hope that's okay with you!" she joked.

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