Is prime-time ready for Jimmy Kimmel? The host of ABC's late-night ''Jimmy Kimmel Live'' will find out in November, when he hosts the network's American Music Awards. For this showcase opportunity -- a prime-time awards show on a major network during November sweeps -- the basic cable-bred Kimmel can thank the Academy. The move of the Oscars from March to February next year has caused a massive awards-show scramble, leading the AMAs to vacate their January post and move up to Nov. 16.
The AMAs, the more populist rival to the Grammys (the prizes are poll-driven, not picked by industry insiders), have been trying for an edgier presentation of late. The most recent edition featured a hosting turn by the frequently-bleeped Osbourne family. Kimmel, who cocreated ''The Man Show'' and ''Crank Yankers'' on Comedy Central with Adam Carolla, has struggled to find an audience in the late-night show ABC launched in January, but he's apparently just what AMA producer Dick Clark ordered. ''His unpredictability and ability to react to situations around him allows him to bring a unique sense of humor to the stage and to keep the show moving at a fast pace,'' Clark said in a statement. Said Kimmel, ''I am thrilled to be hosting the American Music Awards. As it stood, I didn't have any plans for that night.''