World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) made the bombshell announcement this week that its Smackdown program will soon air live every Tuesday, while flagship show Raw will be pre-taped mid-week and air early Sunday mornings.
Hoping to attract the coveted demographic of viewers aged 55-92 who enjoy televangelists and infomercials, Raw will air at 7am ET on several cable access channels, Destination America, and POP TV.
While fans of the Smackdown brand are overjoyed that the program is finally going to be live — and possibly relevant — again after many years of pre-taped water-treading, fans of Raw are perplexed by the programming shuffle.
A WWE spokesperson said Raw “will remain the longest-running weekly episodic program in television history,” but due to the new timeslot, will no longer feature aggressive themes or physical contact of any kind.
The three-hour Monday timeslot previously occupied by Raw, meanwhile, will be filled by Total Divas.