WWE’s ‘SmackDown Live’ on Fox Will Remain a 2-Hour Show

Broadcast network and local affiliates not changing their entire primetime strategy to extend pro-wrestling series

SmackDown Live Samoa Joe

Fox’s Friday version of WWE “SmackDown Live” will remain two hours, just like the one currently airing Tuesdays on USA Network.

There was some question about whether Fox would try to extend the professional wrestling series to three hours, matching WWE flagship series “Raw,” which airs Monday nights on USA. “Monday Night Raw,” considered by many people to be the “A” show compared to the “B” status of “SmackDown,” will continue on USA.

TheWrap broke the news last May that “SmackDown” would be moving from USA to Fox’s broadcast network — and from Tuesdays to Fridays — for the 2019-20 television season (and beyond). We also exclusively reported that it would remain live.

As previously reported, Fox’s “SmackDown Live” will debut on Friday, Oct. 4 at 8/7c on Fox. The two-hour series runs until 10 o’clock, which is when Fox’s national primetime programming ends. The rest of the Big 4 broadcast networks — CBS, NBC and ABC — have three-hour primetime windows that run until 11 p.m. ET.

For Fox (and The CW), local programming from affiliates takes over at 10 p.m.

There is still the possibility that additional wrestling action, whether that be some extension of “SmackDown” or companion programming, could spill over to cable channel Fox Sports 1. Last month, WWE executive and part-time wrestler Paul “Triple H” Levesque announced a weekly WWE studio show will premiere this coming fall on FS1. That show will air on Tuesdays, which will by then be the former night of “SmackDown Live.”

Fox’s upfront presentation to advertisers takes place Monday afternoon at New York City’s Beacon Theater.