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‘Kimmel’ to follow Oscars

Latenight show gets post-Academy Awards slot

ABC has slotted a special edition of “Jimmy Kimmel Live” to follow its broadcast of the Academy Awards in February, part of the net’s bid to expose its latenight host to a wider pool of viewers.

It will be the second year in a row that ABC uses the Oscars as a platform to boost “Kimmel,” which has grown substantially this year, but still trails the latenight competition at NBC and CBS.

Last year’s post-Oscar “Kimmel” delivered 4 million viewers, the third-biggest audience in the history of the show. ABC has twice aired the show after the Super Bowl, in 2003 and 2006, which delivered the show’s highest numbers.

The week before the Oscarcast, host Ellen DeGeneres will appear as a guest on “Kimmel.”

Kimmel stands to get huge exposure as host of upcoming primetime gameshow “Set for Life,” which will be added to ABC’s schedule later in the season.

“Kimmel” is well behind NBC’s “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” and CBS’ “Late Night With David Letterman,” but the show is up 14% this season over the same period last year.

“Kimmel” is averaging 1.82 million viewers, up from 1.59 million last year. NBC’s “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” is averaging 2.6 million season-to-date, and CBS’ “Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson” is averaging 2 million.