Jimmy Kimmel "destroyed" ABC and his fellow networks during the ABC upfronts and
now ABC has his back calling his skewering of the network "not a big
deal." Kimmel even posted his own ABC upfront speech on youtube after
the clip was repeatedly removed for "copyright infringement claims". The
clip was pretty funny and had execs laughing in their seats. Is there
any other way to explain Jay Leno's move to the 10 pm slot?
Hollywood Insider Nikki Fenke said in a blog post on Deadline Hollywood that the Kimmel upfront monologue wasn't a complete shock because it was an upfront tradition.
Jimmy Kimmel when still a newish ABC late night host made an upfront
appearance that bashed his bosses. Assessing each network if television
were high school, he said, "NBC would be the rich kid whose parents
gave him a BMW, CBS would be the straight-A student going to Stanford,
Fox would be the jock who's kind of dumb but gets the chicks, and we
would be the fat kid who eats paste."
Jimmy Kimmel's Monologue for the ABC Upfronts
Network executives had to deal with the faux fallout from a New York Times blog that suggested Kimmel was lucky to still have a job after a screed like that.
The executives weren’t exactly laughing. Call it more like a loud sigh.
“This is all much ado about nothing,” said an ABC spokeswoman. “We love Jimmy and think he’s hilarious.”
Others noted this “question” concerned a routine Kimmel has done — successfully — for several years.
He said ABC would cancel 90 percent of the shows being promoted, and that the numbers being spun to sell the new programs were lies.
“It was a funny routine, and I thought the audience responded well,” said Steve Sternberg, executive vice president of audience analysis at ad-buyer Magna. “I didn’t hear any gasps, just laughter.”
ABC’s spokeswoman said network executives were “laughing harder than anybody.”
More important, they were aware of what he was going to say, having been briefed beforehand.
“It was no worse than what Kimmel has done in previous years,” said one attendee, a veteran of many upfronts.
“NBC said he will not go to ABC, even if it means we have to destroy our network,” Kimmel said.
When Leno was read the comment later in the night, he laughed, as did NBC president Jeff Zucker.
“As long as it’s funny, that’s the rule,” said Leno, noting he and Kimmel had gone on each other’s shows last summer. “We get along fine.”[NYDN]
Read the New York Times post that got the blogosphere buzzing about the Kimmel meltdown.
If Jimmy Kimmel still has a job at ABC on Wednesday, he is either a very lucky or very deft comedian, or he has great blackmail photos of the network executives.
At Tuesday afternoon’s upfront presentation in New York, Mr. Kimmel, the host of ABC’s late night talk show “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” delivered a withering, blistering monologue that took direct aim at ABC, its potential advertisers and his NBC late-night rival, Jay Leno. The assembled advertisers received his performance with a mixture of uneasy laughs and the occasional gasp. UPDATE: As several commenters have rightly pointed out, much of Mr. Kimmel’s routine also received healthy laughter and was well received by the room. We didn’t intend to imply otherwise. You can watch video of Mr. Kimmel’s upfront performance here.
Bouncing onto the stage at just after 4 p.m., Mr. Kimmel self-deprecatingly declared, “All of ABC’s late night comedy talent is assembled here on one stage.” After rattling off a few statistics about the affluence of his viewers, he then admitted that he’d made all the numbers up. (He said so in a more obscene way.)
Then, in a “Jerry Maguire”-like moment of clarity, Mr. Kimmel said, “Everything you’re going to hear this week is” nonsense. “Let’s get real here. Let’s get Dr. Phil-real here. These new fall shows? We’re going to cancel about 90 percent of them. Maybe more.”
If ABC is so confident in its new fall shows, he asked, why is it announcing them at the same time it announces the midseason shows that will replace those fall shows? “This show ‘Shark Tank’ has the word tank right in the title,” he said.
To the ABC advertisers, Mr. Kimmel said, “Every year we lie to you and every year you come back for more. You don’t need an upfront. You need therapy. We completely lie to you, and then you pass those lies onto your clients.”
Mr. Kimmel then took a verbal swing at his own network, reminding the audience that ABC had attempted to hire away Mr. Leno when his tenure ended at NBC’s “Tonight Show.” But, according Mr. Kimmel, NBC said it would not give up Mr. Leno, “even if we have to destroy our own network to keep him.”
By devoting its entire 10 p.m. lineup, Monday through Friday, to Mr. Leno, Mr. Kimmel said NBC is “giving Jay’s viewers exactly what they want. An early-bird special.”
By deciding on their fall schedule in April, Mr. Kimmel said, “NBC got such a head start, they’ve already had time to cancel half their schedule.”
Mr. Kimmel also aimed a couple of zingers at Fox. That network’s action series “24,” he said, was “a head butt away from cancellation.” Next season, he said, Jack Bauer would have a new sidekick “played by Kiefer Sutherland’s probation officer.”
Returning to ABC’s advertisers, Mr. Kimmel said, “Next year on ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ your product could kill Dr. Izzie. It just depends on how much you want to pay.”
In closing, Mr. Kimmel said, “I think all our shows are going to work this year. I really do.” He paused. “I don’t, really.”
Before departing the stage, he said: “The important thing to remember is: who cares, it’s not your money.”[NYT]