HOLLYWOOD - Jimmy Kimmel fans partied like it was 11:35.
Decked in golden sparkly paper decorative glasses that display the coveted time in big red print - much like the kitschy glasses revelers wear on New Year's Eve - hundreds of Kimmel fans on Tuesday rang in a new year and new time slot at the late-night host's Hollywood studios.
"I think he deserves it. He's definitely paid his dues in the late-night business," said Kathryn Tengono of Studio City, adjusting the 11:35 paper glasses to fit around her ears as she watched Kimmel's monologue.
Tengono added that she's been to a taping of NBC's "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" and ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" before and favors Kimmel's style.
"He's entertaining, much funnier and is just a natural for this time slot," Tengono said.
Prior to Tuesday's show, "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" aired at 12:05 a.m. after "Nightline." Now the news program will run after Kimmel's hourlong show.
Tuesday's premiere finally pits Kimmel - who went on air in January 2003 - against veteran nightside hosts Jay Leno and David Letterman. Currently, Leno claims the top talk-show spot with some 3.5 million average viewers, followed by Letterman on CBS with 2.8 million.
"Jimmy Kimmel Live!" was drawing less than 2 million nightly viewers at 12:05 a.m. but, according to Nielsen Co. ratings, finished up 2012 with a 10-year viewership high.
"We've been waiting for this day for a long time, and I want to thank our network, ABC, for this vote of confidence," Kimmel said during the start of his show. "It was a big decision. It's a risky decision, it really is.
"Some might even say it was a stupid decision, but I want them to know that I understand what's at stake here, and I do not take this responsibility lightly. This is the time when I shine bright like a diamond."
According to Nielsen fast national ratings, Kimmel edged out Letterman and ran slightly behind Leno in total viewers for his first night of competition.
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 With David Letterman" by 115,000 viewers.
"Jimmy Kimmel Live!" scored its second-largest audience ever on Tuesday while exceeding the average audience in its previous berth by 59 percent.
To kick-off his new start, Kimmel welcomed guest Jennifer Aniston. This was the actress's first appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" and it wasn't even to promote a new movie or television show but to simply congratulate Kimmel on his new move.
She even arrived on stage wielding a sledgehammer to smash Kimmel's desk as a symbol of starting fresh.
"That's out with the old, in with the new," Aniston said.
No Doubt later rocked Kimmel's outdoor stage promoting the band's sixth studio album, "Push and Shove," and a new tour.
After performing the album's title track and "Hella Good" for the recorded show, frontwoman Gwen Stefani asked fans for requests and continued to get the crowd jumping with old favorites like "Spiderwebs."
Stefani, showing off her washboard abs despite being a mother of two, even jumped into the crowd for a few minutes to give fans an up-close-and-personal rendition of "Sunday Morning," a hit single from the band's 1995 breakthrough album, "Tragic Kingdom."
No Doubt fans Jennifer Shipman and Avery Perez, both of Cypress, were stoked to see one of their favorite Orange County-born bands participate in such a momentous show for Kimmel.
"It's cool they get to hit the stage for the first show of the new time slot," Perez said, as Shipman chimed in: "This is a great way to start this head-to-head rivalry with Jay Leno."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.