According to a new advertisement in the latest issue of the ‘UFC 360’ magazine, ‘The Ultimate Fighter 17’ will begin airing on Tuesday, 22nd January at 9pm on the FX channel.
There’s been no official confirmation yet from the UFC of FX on that date, but when asked by MMAJunkie, Dana White simply stated, “That day sounds good to me.”
If it does prove to be true then it’s really a homerun for the UFC and would give an insight into just how committed FOX are to making their deal with the UFC a success.
Tuesday nights are a big deal for FX. Right now it’s the night their hit drama show ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ airs, pulling in over 4 million viewers at times, though it should be noted that 22nd January is when another major show, ‘Justified’ is set to move into that 10pm timeslot for it’s fourth season premiere.
‘Justified’, starring Timothy Oliphant isn’t quite as big a draw as ‘Sons Of Anarchy’, but nevertheless it did pull in 2.67 million viewers for it’s third season finale earlier this year and remains one of the jewels in FX’s crown.
The fact that FX are willing to let TUF be a lead-in for that show and are going to put it in a 9pm primetime slot is exciting, and perhaps shows their belief that the UFC’s selection of Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen as the season’s coaches is going to help rejuvinate the show’s fortunes.
Let’s hope so. It’s fair to say that TUF’s ratings have been dismal at times during it’s two season run on FX so far, but much of the blame for that has been placed on it’s Friday night timeslot which doesn’t seem well suited to a show that relies heavily on pulling in a young, male demographic.
As it happens ‘Justified’ has a good following amongst males aged 18-49, so that bodes well for TUF, and when alls said and done, if this coming season doesn’t do well then the finger of blame could now only fall on the show itself as FX have certainly done their part to make it a success.