WWE’s “Friday Night SmackDown” is vacating broadcast TV this fall for a new, out of this world cable home. It will be on Syfy network, home of the current “”WWE NXT,” which began in February and will vacate the channel when “SmackDown” comes in. The change occurs Oct. 1, 2010.
For Syfy viewers used to catching their main series on Fridays, it will be tantamount to a folding chair on the head. Things like “Stargate Universe,” “Caprica” and Santuary” will move to Tuesdays, which will be the new showcase for original dramas, where “Warehouse 13” and “Eureka” have done well.
What does Stamford-based World Wrestling Entertainment have to do with other Syfy fare (other than also being scripted fiction)?
“It targets the younger male and female demographics, which are the fastest growing categories for WWE,” Syfy President Dave Howe said in a press release.
“With this move, WWE is thrilled to be expanding its long-standing relationship with the NBC Universal family,” WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, whose wife and former WWE CEO happens to be running for Senate.
“SmackDown” started life in 1999 on the old UPN Network on Thursdays and moved to Fridays in 2005. It started airing on The CW, when The WB and UPN networks merged to begin the new network. It was a ratings winner for The CW but moved to MyNetwork TV (locally WCTX, Channel 59) in 2008.
It’s been averaging more than 3.4 million viewers a week, the WWE says, and is currently the most watched TV show among men under 55, beating primetime programming on ABC, NBC, Fox, and the CW.
It continues to produce :”WWE Raw,” the company’s longest running show, currently seen Mondays on USA Network, in its 18th season. “WWE A.M.” runs late Saturday nights at 2 a.m.
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