USA Network planning big tie-in with Live WWE Smackdown debut

By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor

WWE USA
WWE & USA Network official logos

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

USA Network is planning a major three-hour event on July 19 when Smackdown goes live on Tuesday nights.

First is the two-hour WWE Smackdown live episode at 8:00 p.m. EST.

Then, USA will be debuting “Shooter,” a new military-themed action/drama series at 10:00 p.m. EST on July 19.

The key figure connecting the two shows is Randy Orton, who was on-set this week filming scenes for the first season.

WWE noted that Orton “will play the role of James Richards, a former Navy SEAL and leader of a militia group” who comes into contact with the character played by leading star Ryan Phillipe.

Entertainment Weekly added that Phillipe’s character investigates Orton’s character to “expose Richards as something other than the patriot he appears to be.”

The new series also features Omar Epps. Mark Wahlberg is an executive producer of the show.

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