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Saturday Night's Main Event
SNMElogoclear.jpg
Logo, circa 2006
Format Sports entertainment
Created by Vince McMahon
Dick Ebersol
Starring World Wrestling Entertainment roster
Opening theme "Boom" by P.O.D. (2006-2008)
Country of origin United States United States
No. of episodes 36
Production
Running time 90 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
FOX (2 episodes)
Original run May 11, 1985 (1985-05-11) – November 14, 1992 (1992-11-14)
March 18, 2006 (2006-03-18) – August 2, 2008
External links
Official website

Saturday Night's Main Event was a professional wrestling television program that aired occasionally from 1985 to 1992, under the World Wrestling Federation banner on NBC in place of Saturday Night Live. It returned to the air on March 18, 2006, in an 8 EST time slot. It was also on ESPN Radio with a start time of 7:35 EST.

At the time of the original airing it was a rare example of professional wrestling being broadcast on an over-the-air commercial television network after the 1950s. It coincided with and contributed to the apogee of the "second golden age" of professional wrestling in the United States. In a time when weekly programming consisited primarily of established stars dominating enhancement talent, Saturday Night's Main Event was made up entirely of star vs. star bouts.

After leaving NBC in 1991, it aired twice on FOX in 1992 before disappearing for over a decade.

When WWE's flagship show, Raw returned to the USA Network in 2005, Saturday Night's Main Event was revived in 2006 as a "special series" to air on occasion on NBC as part of a deal between WWE and NBC Universal. The Raw, SmackDown, and ECW brand rosters were featured on the show.

Contents

Original run (1985–1992)

The NBC era logo, 1985–1991

Saturday Night's Main Event debuted on May 11, 1985 in the late-night time slot normally assigned to reruns of the NBC sketch comedy Saturday Night Live. Then-SNL executive producer Dick Ebersol had made a deal with WWF owner Vince McMahon to produce the show, after Ebersol had seen the high ratings that two WWF specials drew on MTV in 1984–85.[1] Although the show aired infrequently, it did, starting in 1986, settle into a predictable pattern of airdates: New Year's weekend, an episode in late February/early March, an episode in late April/early May, an episode in late September/early October, and Thanksgiving weekend. 1989 and 1990 both offered episodes in July promoted as "Summertime Bonus Editions."

The FOX era logo, 1992

Saturday Night's Main Event was a tremendous ratings success for NBC during its heyday, most notably on the March 14, 1987 show, which drew an 11.6 rating, which to this day remains the highest rating any show has ever done in that time slot. That show was headlined by a battle royal featuring Hulk Hogan and André the Giant, who were slated to face each other at WrestleMania III. As Hogan rarely wrestled on the WWF syndicated and cable television shows, Saturday Night's Main Event was the program on free television where most viewers were able to see him in action. The success of Saturday Night's Main Event led to several Friday night prime time specials, known as The Main Event. The first of these, on February 5, 1988 featured a WrestleMania III rematch between Hogan and André and drew 33 million viewers and a 15.2 rating, which is still the highest-rated television show in professional wrestling history. This event was shown live. The late night shows however were always taped 1–2 weeks prior to airing.

While ratings remained strong through 1990, they began to fall shortly thereafter; one factor was that the NBC affiliate known as KNBC opted to air a news bulletin over the February 1, 1991 episode of The Main Event, as well. NBC, who had just acquired the rights to broadcast NBA games nationwide, now started to lose interest in wrestling, and Saturday Night's Main Event was dropped. Its final NBC airing occurred on April 27, 1991. FOX picked up the show in 1992, but it was only shown twice on that network; February 8, 1992 and the final Saturday Night's Main Event of the original run was broadcast on November 14, 1992.

For much of its history, Saturday Night's Main Event was hosted by McMahon and Jesse "The Body" Ventura with the occasional use of Bobby Heenan in 1986 and 1987. In 1990, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper replaced Ventura as McMahon's broadcast partner when Ventura left the WWF. On the two episodes that aired on FOX, Heenan served as McMahon's partner. From 1985–1988 the opening theme song for the NBC version was "Obsession" by Animotion with the closing theme being "Take Me Home" by Phil Collins, and also the beginning of "Take on Me" by a-ha was used for show bumpers. In 1988, the songs were replaced with an original WWF-created instrumental theme. The new instrumental theme was originally used as the theme of the 1987 WWF Slammy Awards.

Revived run (2006–2008)

Saturday Night's Main Event returned to NBC on March 18, 2006, in a prime-time slot. The opening theme song for the revived run is "Boom" by P.O.D. The most recent edition took place on August 2, 2008. In 2009, WWE decided to air The 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania and Tribute to the Troops on NBC in lieu of producing more episodes of Saturday Night's Main Event.

DVD release

On February 10, 2009 the WWE released a 3-disc DVD set on the history of Saturday Night's Main Event. The set includes more than 30 full matches and several non-wrestling segments. Among these are highlights of Uncle Elmer's wedding, Hulk Hogan's "Real American" music video, and Mr. Perfect smashing Hogan's WWF Championship belt. The first match in the program's history is included as an extra. Also, two of the most famous matches in WWE history are included, both from the program's spinoff The Main Event. The first is a February 1988 rematch from WrestleMania III pitting Hogan against André the Giant, the second a Mega Powers' (Hogan and Randy Savage) bout against the Twin Towers (The Big Boss Man and Akeem) from February 1989. Both had direct implications on each year's WrestleMania - the Hogan-Andre match led to the WWF title being vacated until WrestleMania IV while the Mega Powers-Twin Towers match led to the breakup of the Mega Powers and Hogan eventually defeating Randy Savage to win the WWE title at WrestleMania V.

See also

References

  1. ^ Wrestling Observer Newsletter, December 6, 2004

External links

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Simple English

Saturday Night's Main Event
Format Sports entertainment
Created by Vince McMahon
Dick Ebersol
Starring World Wrestling Entertainment roster
Opening theme "Boom" by P.O.D. (2006-present)
Country of origin
No. of episodes 36 (as of August 2, 2008)
Production
Running time 1 hour, 30 minutes per episode (including commercials)
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
FOX (2 episodes)
Original run May 11, 1985–November 14, 1992
March 18, 2006 – Present
External links
Official website

Saturday Night's Main Event is a professional wrestling television show that is occasionally aired as a special by World Wrestling Entertainment.


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