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NXT tops one million viewers for USA Network premiere

The much-hyped live debut of NXT on USA Network averaged 1.179 million viewers last night.

That's almost 40 percent higher than when an NXT episode aired on USA during WWE Holiday Week in December 2017, although that was a taped show that aired out of prime time and was also simulcast on the WWE Network.

The first hour of last night's show was exclusive to USA, with hour two airing on the WWE Network, which seemingly caused an issue with so many people trying to log on at the same time and led to an inability for some to access the service.

NXT did not finish inside the top 20 in terms of total cable TV viewers but did land fourth in the 18-49 demo with a 0.43 rating. The season premiere of American Horror Story did a monster 1.00 rating in the demo and 2.126 million viewers.

Suits, which immediately followed NXT on USA, averaged 955,000 viewers for its penultimate episode. Last week’s Suits did a virtually identical 965,000 viewers, so the strong NXT lead-in appears to have had no effect, but it does give an indication of what kind of numbers USA Network might be expecting from programming in that time slot.

Suits' rating in the 18-49 demo last night was a 0.20.

NXT retained almost 60 percent of SmackDown's viewers from Tuesday night.

NXT again has Wednesday night to themselves next week before AEW Dynamite debuts on TNT on Wednesday, October 2, which is the same week NXT moves to both hours airing live on USA.