Kimmel moves up 5 minutes
LOS ANGELES — Jimmy Kimmel’s talk show is getting a midnight start, courtesy of a five-minute sacrifice by ‘‘Nightline.’’
‘‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’’ will move up from 12:05 a.m. to midnight as of Feb. 4, ABC said Thursday. That will cut ‘‘Nightline,’’ which had been airing from 11:35 p.m. to 12:05 a.m., to 25 minutes instead of a half-hour.
The news program, however, will gain a series of 13 prime-time episodes, ABC News President Ben Sherwood said in a staff memo that was released by ABC. He said the hourlong shows would ‘‘minimize the disruption’’ to ‘‘Nightline.’’
ABC also intends to trim the commercial time within ‘‘Nightline’’ to largely preserve the program’s content, a spokeswoman said.
Cohen set to play Saddam
LOS ANGELES — As if his portrayals of Borat and Bruno weren’t outrageous enough, Sacha Baron Cohen’s next role will be playing Saddam Hussein.
The British comic will star in and co-write ‘‘The Dictator,’’ which is scheduled for release in May 2012, Paramount Pictures said Thursday. Larry Charles, who directed Baron Cohen in ‘‘Bruno’’ and ‘‘Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,’’ will direct once again.
‘‘The Dictator’’ is inspired by a book the former Iraqi leader himself wrote, titled ‘‘Zabibah and The King.’’
Paramount joked in a news release: ‘‘The film tells the heroic story of a dictator who risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed.’’
Whitman now on HP board
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Former eBay Inc. CEO Meg Whitman is resurfacing after months of silence following her loss in the California governor’s race.
Whitman is one of five people named to the board of Hewlett-Packard Co. on Thursday. The action was part of a shake-up at the world’s largest technology company by revenue.
Whitman, a Republican, spent $144 million from her personal fortune in what became the most expensive statewide political race in the nation’s history.