The COVID-19 coronavirus has begun to impact nearly every realm of everyday life, as people are anxious to find out the latest updates surrounding the virus' spread. The pandemic has led to the delay or shut down of quite a lot of entertainment properties, including nearly all of the mainstream late-night television shows. Jimmy Kimmel Live is among that list, after production on the series shut down for the next two weeks. According to a new report from Variety, the ABC series is taking one extra step to ensure that audiences are informed about the coronavirus. In a statement, ABC News revealed that Jimmy Kimmel Live and Nightline will be swapping time slots during the two-week shutdown, so that Nightline - which is shifting focus entirely onto the coronavirus - is able to reach a larger audience.
"As the crisis continues to rapidly develop across the nation, by airing one-hour earlier, Nightline will reach even more people with the important context, analysis and expert insight Americans want to stay informed and safe during this uncertain time," ABC News said in announcing the shift.
With this switch, reruns of Kimmel will air in the 12:05 a.m. ET time slot, while Nightline will air first at 11:35 ET. There actually is precedent for this schedule, as Kimmel used to follow airings of Nightline prior to 2013. Nightline has temporarily shifted its format to focus entirely the coronavirus pandemic, which has already made a profound impact on everyday life throughout the world.
ABC had previously announced that Kimmel, alongside the long-running soap opera General Hospital, would be suspending production beginning Monday, March 16th, due to concerns over the virus.
"Jimmy Kimmel Live has determined it is in the best interest of the staff and crew to suspend production on the show beginning Monday, March 16," ABC's statement reads. "We will continue to monitor this and hope to be back on the air with new shows Monday, March 30."
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(Photo credit: Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images)