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'Jimmy Kimmel Live' scores first time out at 11:35

Host Jimmy Kimmel speaks onstage during the 64th

Host Jimmy Kimmel speaks onstage during the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles. (Sept. 23, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

One never knows until one knows but one, ummm, knows now: Jimmy Kimmel could do well at 11:35, if last night was any indication. The new/old show was seen by 3.1 million viewers in the new time slot, enough to best Dave, but not enough to best Jay. Here are the key numbers from ABC's fast national report:

Jimmy Kimmel Live” ran neck-and-neck with NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” (3.097 million vs. 3.274 million), as only 177,000 Total Viewers separated the two programs on Tuesday. In fact, “JKL” slashed nearly all of its Total Viewer gap with the NBC program on Tuesday versus its season gap in its previous time period (-89% — 177,000 vs. 1.591 million), while cutting its gap among young adults by half (-48% — 197,000 vs. 381,000). • “Jimmy Kimmel Live” beat CBS’ “The Late Show with David Letterman” by 7% in Total Viewers (3.097 million vs. 2.882 million) and by 30% in Adults 18-49 (887,000 vs. 683,000).

These are quite good but as a note of caution — the first night is rarely indicative of the second, third or fourth. Curiosity factors in, and then it factors out as viewers go back to their regular habits or go to sleep. But you want to start strong and Kimmel has done just that.

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