- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 9, 2013

NEW YORK (AP) — ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” bot a warm welcome on its first night airing 30 minutes earlier.

Mr. Kimmel went head-to-head Tuesday for the first time against CBS’ “Late Show With David Letterman” and NBC’s “Tonight Show With Jay Leno.” According to the Nielsen fast national ratings, Mr. Kimmel edged out Mr. Letterman and ran slightly behind Mr. Leno in total viewers.

Tuesday’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” was seen by roughly 3 million viewers, only 177,000 fewer than the audience for the “Tonight Show.” It beat “Late Show” by 115,000 viewers.

“Jimmy Kimmel Live” scored its second-largest audience ever while exceeding the average audience in its previous berth by 59 percent.

“Jimmy Kimmel Live” previously aired at midnight EST, after “Nightline.” It now airs for an hour beginning at 11:35 p.m., followed by “Nightline.”