As reported on Wednesday, AEW and WarnerMedia have announced that their deal for AEW Dynamite on TNT has been extended through 2023. It was also announced that the two sides have agreed on a new AEW series to premiere at a later date. You can click here to read the full announcement with comments from AEW President & CEO Tony Khan, and you can click here to read insider details on the deal, including how much money it’s worth to AEW.
It looks like the second series will be AEW Dark, which currently airs Tuesdays on YouTube, but will be coming to TNT with some changes. It was noted earlier in another report that this second series would be an extra 4th hour of AEW programming each week, but it appears that may not be the actual story here.
The Wrap’s Tony Maglio spoke with Turner President Kevin Reilly at the Television Critics Association press event on Wednesday and Reilly revealed the news there. Dark will air weekly, on TNT, but it may not air for 52 weeks per year, likely due to other programming on TNT.
Reilly elaborated on the plan to add changes to AEW Dark before bringing it to cable TV.
“We’re going to embellish [AEW Dark] and put some additional material, kind of behind the scenes, kind of docu-follow stuff, if you will, about the athletes and the stories,” Reilly said.
Reilly later told Variety that the new-and-improved AEW Dark will not air on Monday nights against WWE RAW.
“We just figured, ‘Let’s bring it onto the network and make it a place where you truly plant up and coming talent,'” Reilly said. “I think we’ll start doing more packages there and filming some behind-the-scenes stuff, not for the matches that night but with other talent to plant stories and grow things that could eventually become another show in and of itself.”
Reilly also revealed that discussions to extend the deal for AEW Dynamite on TNT began over the holidays and noted that Dynamite has “over-delivered right out of the gate” for TNT.
“I just had this idea that this was the time to invest,” Reilly said. “This is a startup. It’s already over-delivered out of the gate. That’s really when you want to hit the gasoline a little bit. The guys already have ideas about additional talent and things they want to do and I wanted to incentivize them as a partner to do that. We also wanted to gave fans and talent who potentially want to come work with us the sense that this is here to stay. You can invest in it, it’s here to stay, and it’s only going to get better.”
Source: Wrestling Inc.