Sharon Hoffman, a veteran of CBS News and “Entertainment Tonight,” will take over as executive producer at “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” a rare behind-the-scenes changing of the guard at the ABC late-night show, where Jill Leiderman has held that role since 2006.
Leiderman has been instrumental in the evolution of Kimmel’s program, where she helped the comedian fashion a show that relied less on frat-boy humor and more on an Everyman persona that has proven durable and grown more relevant as the nation’s politics have evolved. Leiderman, who has held producer roles at Jon Stewart’s MTV program and CBS’ “Late Show” during David Letterman’s tenure, has been with Kimmel since before an eyebrow-raising and very funny video about Matt Damon’s sex appeal aired on his program and drew new attention. The success of that bit signaled a new era in late-night TV in which vignettes that get passed around via social media are as important as interesting guests and musical acts.
“I could not be more thankful for what Jill has done for our show and could not have asked for a better partner over the past 14 years,” Kimmel said in a prepared statement. “Her contributions to the growth of ‘JKL’ are immeasurable, including finding her worthy successor Sharon Hoffman. We were very lucky to have Jill as long as we did and, while I am sad to see her go, I understand. I am sick of me too.”
Leiderman’s looming departure has been an open secret in the world of late-night, and it has been known for several months that “Jimmy Kimmel Live” has been seeking a new executive producer. “A year ago, Jimmy and I began to plan this transition so I could pursue other opportunities on my creative wish list while spending more time with my husband and 4 year old son. My professional partnership with Jimmy will only be outdone by our friendship,” said Leiderman in a statement, noting she has produced “close to 2,500 original ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ episodes and specials.”
Hoffman (above, pictured) served as executive producer of ViacomCBS’ “Entertainment Tonight” from late 2016 to July of 2019, and has recently been offering production consulting services. Before joining “ET,” she was executive producer of weekend news at CBS News, and served as a senior producer at both “CBS This Morning” and “Good Morning America.” She helped relaunch “CBS This Morning” in 2012.
She is the latest news producer to decamp for late-night. Another “CBS This Morning” executive, Chris Licht, oversees CBS’ “Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”