Friday Night SmackDown saw a jump in its audience in the overnight figures with this week’s episode on pace to be their most-watched show since mid-April.
The show did not escape controversy as there was a heavy sentiment of bad taste among viewers for the angle to start the show. With Elias unconscious on the street next to a car, they depicted Jeff Hardy as being inebriated and insinuating he had been drinking and driving when he struck Elias. Later in the show, it was revealed Hardy was framed and a WWE.com article stated that after he was arrested, they deemed he was not intoxicated as portrayed.
The issue among some was Hardy’s real-life issues and struggles and whether that’s suitable for a pro wrestling angle.
In terms of viewership, it gave SmackDown a spike this week with the overnight figure of 2,150,000 viewers, which would be their highest number since the April 17th episode. The final number reflecting the entire country will be out Monday.
The overnight figure is up 5% from last week’s final number of 2,044,000 viewers.
It was broken down to 2,143,000 in the first hour and 2,157,000 from 9-10 pm Eastern and a rare example of the second higher being higher. I would attribute that anomaly to the nature of the Hardy angle and people interested in the resolution.
In the 18-49 demo, SmackDown did a 0.5 from 8-9 pm and 0.6 from 9-10. Most network programming is in reruns so competition is less but Shark Tank did a 0.6 in the demo and 20/20 on ABC did a 0.6 and 0.5 respectively from 9-11 pm.