USA Network will air live its weekly WWE-based SmackDown pro wrestling series beginning July 19, the network said Wednesday.
The series, which is currently taped, will also move from Thursdays to Tuesdays on July 19, giving USA five hours or live WWE programming on consecutive days, including its three-hour live Monday night Raw series.
SmackDown moved to USA from Syfy this past January. Thus far in 2016 SmackDown is averaging 2.6 million viewers (Nielsen Live +7), according to USA.
“The fan base for our WWE shows is one of the most passionate and engaged audiences in all of entertainment,” said Chris McCumber, President, Entertainment Networks, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment in a statement. “There is a huge appetite among our viewers for live programming, and the ability to move SmackDown to a live format brings a new level of excitement and helps truly eventize this every week.”
Following the July 19 SmackDown episode, USA Network said it will debut its new original drama Shooter.