In kind of a curious move for a network who hired John Cena, at least in part, for his following of WWE fans, TV by the Numbers is reporting that Fox plans to have his reality competition show, American Grit, slotted directly opposite the second hour of SmackDown on USA Network.
With an April 14 premiere date, the show will air at 9PM Eastern and follow the returning drama Bones in the network's re-worked Thursday night line-up. It consists of Cena hosting as four teams of four people each compete in "military-level survival challenges".
American Grit is set to run for ten weeks. While there probably isn't too great a concern about either show taking viewers from the other, it will pose a bit of promotional question for WWE. They provided Cena with time off to shoot the series and have done some features on it on their website - although not as many as they probably would if the show was on a NBCUniversal (owner of USA Network) station.
A high profile project like this from a name closely associated with the brand would typically bring lots of plugs from announce teams and other mentions on Raw and SmackDown, but in addition to conflicts with their broadcast partner, WWE itself won't be telling fans to flip away on Thursday to see Cena's new gig.
We'll see if this effects either shows ratings come April.
Does this make it more or less likely you'll check out American Grit, Cagesiders?