Friday Night SmackDown Leaving FOX After Five Years: Where Will it Air?

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After a five-year run on broadcast TV, Friday Night SmackDown is returning to basic cable.

SmackDown is returning to USA Network in October 2024, it was revealed Thursday morning. 

Interestingly, WWE will also make four specials that will be reserved for NBC every year.

Cody Rhodes wrestles Roman Reigns for Undisputed WWE Universal Title Match

"NBCUniversal has been a tremendous partner of WWE for decades," WWE President Nick Khan said in a statement Thursday.

"We are excited to extend this longstanding relationship by bringing SmackDown to USA Network on Friday nights and look forward to debuting multiple WWE special events annually on NBC."

Cody Rhodes and Roman Reigns for Undisputed WWE Universal Title Match

Added NBCUniversal Entertainment Chairman Frances Berwick: "It's a privilege and thrill to continue NBCU's decades-long partnership with WWE, which has helped cement USA Network's consistent position as the top-rated cable entertainment network in live viewership."

"With Friday nights on USA, primetime specials on NBC, and the WWE hub on Peacock, we'll continue to use the power of our portfolio to super- serve this passionate fanbase."

Smackdown has appeared on various networks throughout its tenure, including UPN, The CW, My Network TV, and Syfy.

It will be interesting to hear FOX's plans for Fridays because the show has been an excellent performer for the network.

Cody Rhodes attends the Los Angeles premiere of the third and final season of Paramount+'s original series "Star Trek: Picard"

There's a good chance it will be a reality TV-heavy night on the network beginning next fall, but FOX could have plenty of choices.

With so many renewed shows and so little in production due to the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes, there's a good chance the network will have more content than usual next season.

CBS performs very well with dramas on Fridays, but there is an opening for a buzzy new drama to get all the attention.

USA Network will be happy to have Smackdown back because it was a strong performer before FOX snapped up the rights.

Roman Reigns after defeating Cody Rhodes

What are your thoughts on this TV news?

Did you expect the series to remain on FOX?

Hit the comments below.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on X.

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