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SmackDown will have to go one-on-one with The Great One starting in November

Young Rock - Season 1 Photo by: Mark Taylor/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Selling WWE as a sport isn’t the only thing happening at this week’s upfronts, where networks & streamers pitch their programming to advertisers. The traditional centerpiece of these presentations is the unveiling of new shows and — for linear TV like the broadcast networks, the announcement of their upcoming schedule.

NBCUniversal rolled out the fall 2022 schedule for NBC today (May 16), and it features a new Friday night comedy that starts in November. It includes Young Rock, the coming of age sitcom about Dwayne Johnson’s life. That means SmackDown will be competing with Rocky for a half-hour every week.

For WWE, the news could be an odd bit of trivia, or get really weird* if Johnson is really coming back to face his cousin Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 39 next spring. It’s more of test for Rocky and his show, which remained a hit in its second season, but saw a big drop-off from season one numbers (airing on Tuesdays, Young Rock’s latest batch of episodes has averaged 2.24 million viewers and a .39 rating among 18-49 year olds, 26% and 38% declines from its first 11).

Before the third season of Young Rock and George Lopez’s new show, LOPEZ vs. LOPEZ, take the 8-9pm ET spot on Friday nights, NBC will put Peyton Manning opposite WWE on FOX. During the start of the football season, the College Bowl game show hosted by the NFL Hall of Famer airs opposite the first hour of SmackDown. The two-hour newsmagazine Dateline will remain in NBC’s 9-11pm ET spot again on Fridays.

* It could be good weird, if all involved are willing to play around with cross-promotion like this.

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