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TCA 2019: ABC Orders Two More ‘Live in Front of a Studio Audience’ Specials

Beverly Hills, Calif. — ABC will bring back Live in Front of a Studio Audience, with specials in both December and in May. Jimmy Kimmel and Norman Lear host. Kimmel would not say which shows will be performed. “There are some loose ends we haven’t tied up,” he said.

On May 22, ABC did live versions of All in the Family and The Jeffersons.

Speaking at the 2019 Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills, Kimmel was asked his reaction to the mass shootings over the weekend. “There’s an expectation that late-night talk shows will address these horrible things,” he said. “I wish we didn’t have to, but nobody is doing anything about it at all.”

Kimmel said he’d rather not have to think about whether to tackle such tough topics. “It’s hard for me to talk about serious subjects--it takes a lot out of me,” he said. “I do want to be funny.”

Related: ABC to Air ‘The Little Mermaid Live’ Nov. 5

He said Jimmy Kimmel Live! will continue to take on socio-political issues when it’s appropriate. “We try to be funny most of the time but sometimes you can’t avoid using that platform to hopefully change people’s minds a little bit,” he said.

Asked about the success of doing Jimmy Kimmel Live! from Brooklyn, Kimmel said he’d love to bring the show to Chicago or Miami too.

Kimmel acknowledged that hosting the show “is a grind,” but said he sensed true respect from ABC brass as he signed a new contract. “I think I felt appreciated and that is important,” he said.

Kimmel fielded a few queries about whether he would ever consider running for office. He dismissed the idea. “I’ve become an example of political correctness but that’s not what I am at all,” said Kimmel. 

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.