Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel has been a fixture of ABC's schedule for just short of two decades. Jimmy Kimmel Live! made its network debut in 2003 after Kimmel made an impact on Comedy Central, but having more than 20 years hosting talk shows, and being the core of late night TV for a whole generation doesn't mean that he wants to go on forever. In a recent interview on The Howard Stern Show, Kimmel made some comments that suggested he may not be around for very much longer as he hasn't quite decided whether to sign another contract after his 20th season, which will come in 2022.
While Kimmel's show is one of the most watched late night chat shows, and Jimmy Kimmel himself one of networks most loved hosts, there is always a point when one considers how long they want to continue doing the same job for. Kimmel's recent time away from the show on his summer break, which as part of his contract he can do while guest hosts fill in for him, seems to have possibly also played a part in his indecision.
"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," Kimmel told Howard Stern. "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."
Kimmel is currently the only late night host on ABC's network, and thanks to its Disney ownership the show manages to get the best guests and most of the big first looks at things like Marvel and Star Wars movies. In comparison, both NBC and CBS air two late night shows a week, with Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon sharing the spoils on the former, and James Cordon following Stephen Colbert on the latter. With this in mind, ABC will no doubt be desperate to hang onto their prize asset which will put Kimmel in a very powerful position when his contract renewal is discussed in the near future.
Whatever the 53 year old decides when the time comes, the host has a legion of fans who would be happy to see him stay on for a bit longer, or wish him well if he feels the time is right to take some time off on a more permanent basis. Kimmel's stint on ABC currently has him as the longest serving of the current late-night hosts, a crown he took over when Conan O'Brien retired earlier this year, and his show was the second highest rated show last season, besting Jimmy Fallon's show but falling just short of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. It is quite some legacy to step away from, but it could well be a case of Kimmel walking away at the top of his game rather than waiting to fade away. This news comes from The Howard Stern show.