NBC has been sharing WWE’s flagship programming with Fox for some time. There have been various reports that Fox has occasionally been pushy with NBCUniversal when it comes to sharing talent between Raw and SmackDown. Now, NBCU has scheduled one of its top programs against Friday Night SmackDown.
This isn’t just any TV show, either. NBCUniversal will move the hugely popular sitcom ‘Young Rock’ to Friday nights. The WWE-adjacent comedy will go head to head with Fox’s main WWE offering.
NBC issued a press release announcing the change. Young Rock’s new lead-in will be the George Lopez comedy ‘Lopez vs. Lopez.’ Young Rock will air at 8:30, directly against Fox’s flagship WWE property.
“FRIDAY: Peyton Manning quarterbacks Friday nights with the return of 8 p.m. game show “Capital One College Bowl,” timed perfectly to football season, and leading into Friday’s #1 newsmagazine, “Dateline NBC.” In November, the laughs begin with George Lopez’s family comedy “Lopez vs. Lopez” at 8 p.m., teeing up the third season of Dwayne Johnson bio-series “Young Rock” at 8:30 p.m.”
NBC will now place their WWE-related sitcom against WWE’s highest-rated weekly live television series. Fox execs can not be happy about the switch. A large portion of Young Rock’s audience is likely to cross over with those who watch SmackDown, bringing the shows into direct competition for viewers and advertising dollars.
Time will tell if this peculiar scheduling move affects WWE’s ratings on Fox. WWE is being heavily pushed by both networks at this week’s upfront meetings. It appears as though NBC has no problems cutting into SmackDown’s viewership.
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