Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2022/01/10/friday-night-smackdown-hits-highest-18-49-audience-since-october/
Friday Night SmackDown was bolstered by the return of Roman Reigns leading to its best demo figure since October.
The first SmackDown of 2022 averaged 2,271,000 viewers with approximately 756,000 (0.58) in the 18-49 demographic, according to Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics and Showbuzz Daily.
It was the show’s highest 18-49 performance since October 22nd episode the day after Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia that also featured Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar prominently.
In overall viewership, it was their highest since December 17th and second-best number since September 10th.
It was the first live edition of SmackDown on Fox since December 17th after a taped show aired on Christmas Eve and a special ‘Top 10 Moments of 2021’ aired on FS1 last week.
Friday’s episode was advertised around Lesnar confronting the returning Reigns, who missed the Day 1 event due to a positive COVID-19 test.
Among network programming on Friday, SmackDown finished third in the demo behind ABC’s Shark Tank (0.75) and 20/20 (0.70). SmackDown was second in 18-34 with 0.37 underneath Shark Tank.
In Canada, SmackDown averaged 167,600 viewers and 65,900 in the 25-54 demo on Sportsnet 360. It was #4 among sports programming for the night, which was topped by the Toronto Raptors vs. Utah Jazz game.