Is Jimmy Kimmel Live! preparing to get even more political?

Hillary Clinton talks with Jimmy Kimmel (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Hillary Clinton talks with Jimmy Kimmel (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) /

A change at Jimmy Kimmel Live! could be a sign of things to come for the ABC late night show.

Late night television has changed significantly in the past few years. The same can be said for Jimmy Kimmel Live! which recently announced a major change behind-the-scenes in an effort to keep with the times.

Executive producer Jill Leiderman is stepping down from the position she has held for the past 14 years. Prior to joining Kimmel’s team, Leiderman worked with late night legends like David Letterman and Jon Stewart. Her resignation comes after a year of preparing for a transition with Kimmel as the industry veteran pursues new opportunities.

Leiderman will be replaced by Sharon Hoffman who most recently was the executive producer of Entertainment Tonight. However, the bulk of Hoffman’s experience comes from the news industry. Her producing credits include CBS Evening NewsCBS This Morning, and Good Morning America.

The change marks a strategy used by other late night shows in recent years including The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and others. The Hollywood Reporter indicates that news industry experience is becoming more valuable in late night television. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert‘s ratings have set the standard for comedy dominated by politics and the news of the day.

Jimmy Kimmel Live! has become increasingly political over the past few years.

While changing executive producers after 14 years is a significant change, things won’t be going in a completely new direction for Jimmy Kimmel Live!. The show has adjusted to the late night landscape quite well over the past five years. Jimmy Kimmel routinely lands third in the ratings behind Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert.

And while Fallon has mostly played it safe when covering President Donald Trump, Kimmel has followed Colbert and Seth Meyers in holding little back when mocking the president. It’s part of the reason why Kimmel has caught the attention of @realdonaldtrump on Twitter.

Issues beyond the White House have also been addressed by Kimmel.  Topics like health care, gun control, and immigration have all brought out emotional, passionate responses from Kimmel while on air.

The selection of Hoffman as showrunner demonstrates that Jimmy Kimmel Live! wants to push even further in this direction. And with Kimmel recently signing a new deal at ABC, it’s clear that this is a direction fans will be seeing for a long time.

From now through the end of the year, audiences can expect Kimmel to ramp up the mockery of President Donald Trump. It has already been going on during the pandemic but the close the country gets to turning the corner and focusing on the election, the more Kimmel will do to highlight every gaffe, lie, and strange moment he sees from the president.

It is a formula that has worked for Jimmy Kimmel Live!. Late night fans have been turning to Kimmel for his reaction on the White House the same way they look to Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, or Seth Meyers. We’ve seen enough evidence to know that “Trump fatigue” doesn’t exist and there is a consistently strong audience for this type of late night television. Jimmy Kimmel Live! is wise to lean into it with the change at producer.

And even if Donald Trump is defeated by Joe Biden, Jimmy Kimmel Live! won’t revert back to an older version of itself. Now with Sharon Hoffman on the team, Kimmel is only better suited to be a leading late night voice when it comes to news and politics.

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What do you think of this move by Jimmy Kimmel and company? Let us know in the comment section below. Keep checking Last Night On for more from Jimmy Kimmel Live! and the rest of late night television.