The USA Network has revealed the premiere dates for two of its shows: legal drama Suits and WWE programme Smackdown.
Smackdown, which will enter its 17th season on Thursday, January 7, 2016, is actually a new addition to the USA Network’s line up. The series has appeared on multiple networks over the years, starting at now defunct broadcast network UPN before switching to The CW following its dissolution in 2006.
Two years later it switched to UPN’s successor MyNetworkTV before making another switch to Syfy in 2010. Given the later network’s commitment to re-establishing itself as a place for serious science fiction over the past few years, it’s perhaps no surprise that the program is switching networks yet again. This would appear to be by mutal agreement; however, Syfy and USA Network are both subsidiaries of NBCUniversal. USA Network is also the longtime home of fellow WWE show Raw.
“WWE consistently delivers one of the largest and most socially engaged live audiences in entertainment and we’re excited to expand our long-standing relationship and be the true cable home for the WWE fan,” said USA Network President Chris McCumber at the time of the announcement of the switch.
“WWE is proud to have SmackDown join Raw as part of our expanded partnership with USA Network,” added WWE Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Vince McMahon. “The combination of the #1 cable network and two ratings juggernauts provides a destination for our viewers and an extraordinary platform for our partners.”
USA Network will also welcome the second half of the fifth season of Suits on Wednesday, January 27, 2016. According to USA Network, the six-episode run continues on from the mid-season cliffhanger.
“In the wake of his arrest for conspiracy to commit fraud, Mike finds himself at the center of an investigation – led by a ruthless government prosecutor, Assistant US Attorney Anita Gibbs – that threatens to bring down the whole firm. Harvey, having resigned from the firm in order to protect it, must tred lightly if he’s going to help Mike, or incur the wrath of Charles Forstman. Together with Jessica and Louis, Harvey must figure out how to build a defense for Mike, knowing full well that he’s guilty of the crime for which he stands accused. Meanwhile, Rachel must come to terms with the fact that her fiancé, and everyone she’s close to, could soon be in prison as Donna finds herself at a crossroad.”
Suits stars Gabriel Macht (Behind Enemy Lines, Love and Other Drugs), Patrick J. Adams (Orphan Black, Rosemary’s Baby), Sarah Rafferty (Brothers and Sisters, Law and Order: Criminal Intent), Meghan Markle (Horrible Bosses, Remember Me), Gina Torres (Firefly, Hannibal) and Rick Hoffman (Hostel, Blood Work) and has already ben renewed for a sixteen-episode sixth season to debut in late 2016.