Monday night USA Network will televise the 900th episode of WWE’s “Monday Night Raw.” “The Simpsons,” by comparison, has aired “only” 420 episodes.
The wrestling show has been a staple of cable programming since it debuted in 1993, and has consistently ranked as one of the top programs (if not the top program) on cable every week since 1999. USA goes out of its way to tout its original programming success with shows like “Royal Pains” and “Covert Affairs,” but the one constant on the network through all of it has been wrestling.
The success of the WWE on the channel is that much more surprising when you consider that USA’s original dramas draw a large number of female viewers.
The WWE and USA are pushing “Raw’s” female demo numbers, saying that 37% of viewers are women. While this is true, wrestling is, and always has been, a soap opera for bros, so to speak.
If Nielsen had a measurement for “women watching because their husbands or boyfriends are making them,” the numbers would probably reflect the viewership more accurately.
For episode 900, the WWE is bringing together the stars from all of its programs, including “Raw,” “Smackdown” and “NXT.” It will originate from Boston’s TD Garden.