The reviews are in and as far as TNT and WarnerMedia are concerned, AEW has been hitting on all the right notes since its TV premiere in September 2019. In an announcement made at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Wednesday, WarnerMedia announced that its deal with All Elite Wrestling was expanding to not only include renewing Dynamite on TNT through 2023, but also that they would be soon premiering a second show which has already received a straight-to-series order, promising fans “another night of AEW action.”
Upon its launch in September, AEW has delivered on its mission of shaking up the world of pro wrestling both in practice and in principle. Considered to be an alternative to those tired of WWE, AEW has consistently beaten its Wednesday night competition, NXT, in the ratings, both overall and in key demos. NXT received its first ratings win in late November and its first key demo ratings win over wrestling’s new darling in mid-December, on a show where two title matches were promoted, book-ending the action. In the first week of 2020 where both shows aired live (NXT aired a pre-taped show on New Year’s Day), AEW returned to the top of the ratings column, surpassing NXT viewership by 31 percent. In doing so, Dynamite reached sixth place for the week in the Cable Top 150.
While it’s long been clear that WarnerMedia has supported AEW’s venture, according to AEW president and CEO, Tony Khan, they have been championing the company and movement toward success since the very beginning.
“When we launched AEW one year ago, we wanted to start a revolution that would disrupt the wrestling business, but everyone said that it would take a strong weekly television partner to make AEW real in the eyes of everyone – above all, the fans,” said Tony Khan, president and CEO of AEW. “What virtually no one realized at the time was Kevin Reilly and TNT were committed to this very same movement from Day One, and their belief in us made it possible for AEW to think and act big from the start.”
Reilly, chief content officer of HBO Max and president of TNT, TBS and truTV, echoed this sentiment, stating, “When Tony Khan first shared with me his idea of starting a new wrestling league, I was impressed by his audacity to go up against a contender that has been the only game in town for twenty years, and ultimately believed that together we could bring his vision for a new, authentic, gritty product to bear,” said Kevin Reilly, chief content officer, HBO Max, president, TNT, TBS, and truTV. “The fans have spoken and after only three months, we have seen AEW shake up the wrestling world and this will only continue as we build upon this momentum.”
Regarding the new show, no further details are available at this time, though early speculation suggests that AEW’s Youtube program, AEW Dark, could be the impetus for more content. The weekly one-hour program, which features matches and promos, averages over half-a-million views per episode. The ability to put on a second successful show online no doubt had some impact in WarnerMedia and Reilly’s decision to extend AEW TV time for a second program. It is unknown at this time if the program will be a studio show or something more akin to what WWE has with Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can catch AEW Dynamite every Wednesday night at 8:00 pm Eastern, 6:00 pm Pacific on TNT and internationally on AEW Plus on Fite TV.