When it was announced that AEW Dynamite was being extended through 2023, part of the deal was that a second show would be coming to WarnerMedia along with it. Last night, it was revealed that show would be a new and improved version of AEW Dark.
Kevin Reilly – the chief content officer for HBO Max and president of TNT, TBS, and truTV – spoke with Variety and had some news regarding what the new show would look like.
Here’s everything learned from that interview about the future of AEW Dark on TNT.
- The show will feature more video packages and behind the scenes footage.
“We’re going to embellish [‘AEW Dark’ on YouTube] 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. “We think that’s going to end up being a really good, robust, different kind of show.” (via TheWrap)
This seems to imply that the AEW Road To… series will become a part of television production. After not making Road To videos for a couple of months, AEW recently started making them for the last several episodes of Dynamite. This could be a sign that those types of features would be produced regularly for the new AEW Dark. It would also not be surprising to see Cody’s “From Undesirable to Undeniable” series from Dark to be expanded.
- It will be a home for up-and-coming talent.
The first point is rather obvious as Reilly said “We just figured, ‘Let’s bring it onto the network and make it a place where you truly plant up and coming talent.” This won’t be too different than what we currently see Dark, but with a potentially larger television audience.
- It may be re-branded with a new name.
Reilly said “We’re taking ‘Dark’ and then re-adapting it for TNT.”
This makes a certain amount of sense as AEW Dark, while a cool name, is sort of “inside” wrestling. Does a regular wrestling fan know what a “dark match” is? That’s debatable.
A re-branding to a name more fitting of the show’s unique presentation is likely.
- The show will be weekly, but maybe not 52 weeks per year.
AEW Dynamite took off Christmas Day in 2019 so this seems obvious, but it could also mean that the show will not air when TNT has other things going on like the NBA Playoffs or the NCAA Tournament.
- The day, time, and premiere date are all unknown.
The airing date of this show will be very tricky. It clearly won’t air on Wednesday while Monday and Friday are off because of the competition with WWE’s two main shows. Tony Khan has stated in the past that he doesn’t want to compete with the NFL which would take out Sunday, Monday again, and maybe even Thursday. AEW Dark currently airs on Tuesday nights on YouTube, but TNT does NBA on Tuesdays and Thursday nights.
That leaves Saturday as the only day left. Considering the show is close in style to that of late-era WCW Saturday Night it would make a certain amount of sense, but that is also a big movie night for TNT. The show will air on TNT according to Reilly so it’s just a matter of when.
- It could lead to another show?
When talking about the role of the show, 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.”
This could just mean that stories that happen on AEW Dark could pay off on AEW Dynamite. Or it could mean something else altogether. Could a Road To/Control Center type show be down the line? Or is he talking about another A-show once more stars are established?
- AEW will still have unique content on YouTube.
When asked about what AEW Dark means to the YouTube show, Reilly told The Wrap “I think we should continue to put some stuff out on YouTube, just to build that bridge — but not the whole show.”
Whether that means matches or something else remains to be seen.
- Taz will be on commentary.
After having previously commentated on the Philadelphia episode of AEW Dark and filling in for Tony Schiavone on AEW Dynamite: Homecoming, Taz has now signed an official contract with the company.
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEWrestling) January 16, 2020