or


[03/11/03 - 12:00 AM]
UPN Renews 'Smackdown!'
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- UPN and the WWE have signed a multi-year renewal deal to keep "WWE Smackdown" at the network through the 2004-05 season.

Despite ratings being down by 13% from last season (6.37 million viewers on average vs. 5.55 million as of March 2), "Smackdown" is still UPN's most-watched program as well as the top-rated show among male teens and the third-highest-rated show among persons 12 through 34 (behind CBS and NBC) in its time period.

The deal also marks a change in the series' license-fee structure. Previously, in what was essentially a time buy, the WWE had paid a straight fee of $300,000 per week (about $16 million a year) to UPN in order to broadcast the series. In exchange, the WWE sold most of "Smackdown's" ad inventory, with UPN handling just two minutes' worth of spots. Beginning this fall however, the WWE will switch to a more traditional license-fee arrangement as now UPN will pay the company about $500,000 per week for the series and take over selling all of the ad inventory.

Despite the netlet actually paying for the series now, the switch will likely end up putting more money in UPN's pocket. The WWE reportedly makes $1 million per episode through its ad spots and with UPN taking over the inventory, it will see a net profit of $500,000 per episode, an increase from the $300,000 the WWE currently pays them.

Other details announced: UPN will keep the series on Thursday nights and the WWE will create four "Smackdown"-related specials per year in addition to its usual 52 weeks-a-year format.

This article was updated on March 12.





  [march 2003]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S
      


· WWE SMACKDOWN (SYFY)









[05/28/15 - 03:00 PM]
ABC Family Casts Jon Cor as Hodge Starkweather for Its Saga Series "Shadowhunters"
Hodge Starkweather is the weapons trainer at the Shadowhunters New York Institute and a former Circle member.

[05/28/15 - 12:31 PM]
Keke Palmer Will Join the Pink Ladies in "Grease: Live" on FOX
In addition, Broadway writers Robert Cary ("Anything but Love," "Ira & Abby") and Jonathan Tolins ("Buyer & Cellar," "The Last Sunday in June") will write the live television adaptation.

[05/28/15 - 12:04 PM]
Crown Media Family Networks & Best Friends Animal Society Commemorate June's Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month on Hallmark Channel's Daytime Lifestyle Program, "Home & Family"
Happy the Cat, a rescue himself and official feline ambassador to Hallmark Channel's Pet Project, will be the face of the month-long stunt and will make a special appearance on "Home & Family."

[05/28/15 - 11:07 AM]
Bakers Battle to Rise to the Top on Food Network's "Cake Wars"
Jonathan Bennett hosts this grueling competition, as the decorated bakers aim to impress master pastry chefs Ron Ben-Israel and Waylynn Lucas, as well as episodic guest judges.

[05/28/15 - 11:00 AM]
AMC's "Hell on Wheels" Season 5 to Premiere Saturday, July 18 at 9:00PM ET/PT
Seven new episodes will air this summer, with the final seven episodes of the series following in 2016.

[05/28/15 - 10:54 AM]
Electus International Signs Multiple Finished Tape Deals for ITV's "Bear Grylls: Mission Survive"
The six episode series, which premiered in the UK in February 2015, is produced by Bear Grylls Ventures, Electus, and betty.

[05/28/15 - 10:52 AM]
The Final Countdown to FIFA Women's World Cup 2015(TM) Has Begun
The campaign marks the crescendo of an unprecedented, company-wide multi-platform marketing initiative that began in 2014.

[05/28/15 - 10:51 AM]
NBC Announces Casting Call for Dorothy in Holiday Production of "The Wiz Live!"
Casting directors will be looking for a young African-American woman between 18-27 years old.

[05/28/15 - 10:45 AM]
"Unraveled" and "I'd Kill for You" Are Back - Hit Peacock Productions Series Return to Investigation Discovery
Both series are set to premiere in 2016.

[05/28/15 - 10:19 AM]
The Return of WE tv's "Braxton Family Values" Delivers 1.8 Million Total Viewers and a Series High Among Adults and Women 25-54
WE tv further spins the numbers for Thursday, May 21.

[05/28/15 - 10:06 AM]
"The Big Bang Theory" Goes Stratospheric for STEM Scholars
In the first-ever university scholarship at UCLA created by and named for a television series, "The Big Bang Theory" and the Chuck Lorre Family Foundation have established The Big Bang Theory Scholarship Endowment.

[05/28/15 - 10:05 AM]
"Lauren Lake's Paternity Court" Begins Third Season of Production in Atlanta
"With the series receiving ratings highs this season, I'm ecstatic to be returning to Atlanta for our third season to help people resolve their legal paternity issues," said Lauren Lake.

[05/28/15 - 09:31 AM]
Spike TV's "Catch a Contractor" Returns for a Third Season of Exposing Crooked Contractors on Sunday, June 21 at 10PM ET/PT
This season not only sets out to aid 10 new families in grim living circumstances, but also gives viewers a never-before-seen glimpse behind the scenes of the tense sting operations and the meticulous coordination needed to nab these deceitful conmen.

[05/28/15 - 09:23 AM]
Oxygen Media Launches New Online Destination "Very Real" as a One-Stop Shop for Millennial Women
"Very Real" will be home to digital content including shareable videos, in-depth features, blogs, quizzes, listicles and more.

[05/28/15 - 09:22 AM]
Video: Comedy Central Sets Premiere Date for "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah"
Trevor Noah starts his new job on Monday, September 28.