SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Smackdown surges to a 1.95 rating, but came up just short of beating Raw in the ratings since Raw drew a 1.98 rating the night before. This is pretty much as close as the ratings can get without flipping Smackdown into the lead.
The average rating the prior ten weeks was 1.65, so this is a big jump. Last week the rating was down to a 1.38 due to Presidential election coverage and perhaps the show being pre-taped. The summer average rating (June through August) was 1.70. The average so far since September including this week is 1.68.
Smackdown did peak at a 1.95 rating in Summerslam season on August 30, so this ties the highest rating since Smackdown went live post-roster split.
On another note, “Shooter” did a disappointing 1.4 million viewers following Smackdown for its premier episode, despite promotion for it during Smackdown. Smackdown, by comparison, drew 2.725 million viewers.
Keller’s Analysis: This is good news for Undertaker, as he was the key draw. Celebrating episode number 900 and having Edge and a sense it was a “special episode” in general also likely helped. If Undertaker is a regular on Smackdown going forward, and if his drawing power holds up, Smackdown has a chance now to beat Raw in the rating one of these weeks this winter leading into the Royal Rumble.