After stinking up the joint on Friday nights, The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) franchise is moving back to Wednesdays in 2013 for the debut of TUF 17, starring UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones and trash-talking rival Chael Sonnen.
One of those "answers" is to move the mixed martial arts (MMA) reality show from its current time slot on Friday night back to its original home on Wednesday. Yes, that is the answer. But what is the question? Probably, "How do we fix the abysmal TUF ratings on the FX Channel?"
Too bad "the Internet" already had that answer months ago.
No matter. Season 17 will get a fresh start this spring, thanks to its midweek move and the addition of UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones, who must endure several weeks of trash talk from 205-pound title challenger Chael Sonnen.
MMA Fighting has more:
The show is moving back to the night it ran on Spike for many years. The show moved to Fridays at the start of 2012, with the move from Spike TV to FX. Even though moving to a significantly higher rated network, and having the fights air live for the first time in the show's history, ratings fell to the lowest level in the show's history.
Friday has proven to be a bad night for MMA programming since it appeals to heavily to Males 25-40, an age group that isn't traditionally watching much television that night. Plus, Bellator has going head-to-head with the established WWE Smackdown, which has a strong appeal to male viewers in the same age group that watches MMA.
The current season of TUF 16 is coached by heavyweight rivals Shane Carwin and Roy Nelson, who must lead a team of welterweights to the eight-sided promised land. A six-figure contract and reality show bragging rights await the winner of the live finale, which goes down on Dec. 15, 2012 live on FX from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
***Update: MMA Fighting contradicts its own report:
"FX has not announced the official date or night that the next installment of TUF will air, however, it is highly unlikely it will air Wednesday nights," wrote Dominic Pagone, the Vice President of Media Relations of FX in a message to MMAFighting.com. "The official announcement will be coming in the next two or three weeks."
Stay tuned for the "official announcement."