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Return date announced for WWE Tough Enough



‘Tough Enough’ Wrestling Is Set to Return on USA
By BRIAN STELTER

Wrestling is taking over another hour of cable television. World Wrestling Entertainment will announce Monday that it is resurrecting “WWE Tough Enough,” a competition to cast a new member of the organization’s roster. The program was retired by MTV in 2003, but the USA network is bringing it back and pairing it with the hit franchise “Monday Night Raw.”

The return of “Tough Enough” deepens WWE’s relationship with USA channel’s parent, NBC Universal, the media company that Comcast is on the cusp of acquiring. For years, USA has been the home of “Raw,” and last year the Syfy Channel became the home of “Friday Night Smackdown.” WWE executives have spoken publicly about wanting to start a cable channel, and the relationship with NBC and Comcast may prove useful.

Kevin Dunn, the executive vice president for television production at WWE, said “Tough Enough” would be “a brand builder for us.” It will feature 12 men and women jostling for a one-year WWE contract.

“It’s a way to bring eyeballs to the WWE product that wouldn’t necessarily watch a live event wrestling show,” he said.

“Tough Enough” is being introduced as USA, known for scripted dramas, seeks to return to unscripted programming. Its last reality show premiere was “Made in the USA” in 2005. A USA spokesman said the channel was hiring unscripted development executives.

Mr. Dunn said WWE had been talking to USA “for years” about resuming “Tough Enough.” After a splashy premiere on April 4 following “WrestleMania,” the show will be broadcast at 8 p.m. on Mondays before “Raw.”

Mr. Dunn said the addition of “Tough Enough” on USA did not reflect any change in the company’s plans for a channel of its own. “We’re talking to partners,” he said, and those include NBC Universal.

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/03/tough-enough-wrestling-is-set-to-return-on-usa/

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5 Responses

  1. Nick says:

    Sounds like the exact same format as the MTV version, which disappoints me somewhat. I hope with WWE completely in charge of production, they can do a better job of making it more solid, and maybe on actually teaching people to work each other in the ring a la the otherwise lackluster Celebrity Wrestling.

    And who the heck is going to be the head trainer on this? Al Snow is at TNA now, so Chavo? I think he’s the only original Tough Enough trainer left. I suppose they could pull out Finlay or Noble though. Kidman & Smiley of FCW are possibilities I suppose as well.

  2. Daniel says:

    The MTV tough enough seasons 1 and 2 were some of the best TV I’ve ever watched. Great material. I still have them on VHS recorded from TV and I have both soundtracks as well. Great shows, great music, and some great talent was featured.

    The biggest issue with this is how WWE gets rid of talent so stupidly. I mean what’s the point of NXT if they are going to kill off its winners? I mean Kaval getting canned was such a waste and the diva season was a joke. Not to mention to this day John Morrison is the only original Tough Enough member still around. Maven, Nadia, Jackie Gayda all gone. Chris Nowinski got head trauma but I think he still works with WWE. Josh Matthews was on Tough Enough as well but he hasn’t wrestled for WWE and he’s a decent commentator I suppose. It just seems silly to have these if they aren’t going to use the talent right. The diva searches are the same way too with Christy Hemme and Ashley Massaro both getting canned after about a year not to mention the issues with Daniel Puder and The Boggeyman from the lame season “3” of Tough Enough.

    We’ll see how this goes, I’m looking forward to this but at the same time I have my doubts.

  3. Kellman73 says:

    The show will not be the same without Snow.
    Biggest PRO: Timeslot. Mondays before RAW, probably going to do well.
    Biggest CON: Kevin Dunn, the executive vice president for television production at WWE. Need I say more?

  4. Jonathan says:

    Val Venis is supposed to be one of the trainers

  5. IronHyde says:

    C’mon guys.. MTV wasn’t all THAT bad.. at least it wasn’t on Bravo, E!, or VH-1. LOL!

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