ABC has found a new showrunner for “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” tapping former “Late Show With David Letterman” producer Jill Leiderman to serve as exec producer of the latenight skein.
ABC execs had been seeking a replacement for current showrunner Duncan Gray for months. Gray, who told the net of his decision to move on earlier this year (Daily Variety, Jan. 17), is ankling the broadcast at the end of this week for a gig at Blighty’s ITV.
With Leiderman set to take the helm of “Kimmel,” all three of the broadcast networks’ main latenight skeins will be exec produced by women. Debbie Vickers is in charge of “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” while Maria Pope and Barbara Gaines are showrunners for “Letterman.”
Leiderman comes to “Kimmel” from VH1, where she’s spent the past two years as a director of development and exec producer. At the cabler she worked on projects including “John Mayer Has a TV Show” and “BSTV.”
It’s likely ABC execs were most interested in Leiderman’s decade of experience on latenight skeins, including her eight years on staff at Letterman’s “Late Show.” After starting as a researcher in 1995, she rose to writers’ segment producer by 1998, holding on to that post until she left in 2003.
Leiderman also spent two years as a senior researcher-segment producer at “The Jon Stewart Show.” She got her showbiz start in 1994 as co-host of children’s skein “Kidding Around” on NBC-owned WMAQ Chicago.
Final details of Leiderman’s deal are still being hammered out, and ABC declined comment.