FS1 suspends weekly production of WWE Backstage
FS1 announced Monday that “production is scaling back” on several shows, including WWE Backstage which will no longer be a weekly show on the sports network.
However, they stopped short of saying the show is outright canceled as there is a strong possibility that it will return around larger WWE events.
Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand first broke the news of the changes which include 20 producers and talents losing their jobs. The boxing show “Inside PBC” and some soccer programming was also cut from the schedule.
The changes do not affect any other WWE programming including SmackDown on Fox and archive content like previous pay-per-views and edited WWE Network documentaries that have aired on FS1 in recent months.
The studio show launched in November 2019 with co-hosts Renee Young and Booker T as constants among a rotating group of regulars that included retired wrestlers Christian and Paige. The show made news when CM Punk was signed on by Fox as an analyst, his first association with WWE in five years. It’s unknown what Punk’s contract status is given the changes, but he hasn’t made any indication that he’s been let go.
The show continued through the pandemic, but overall, Backstage never drew consistently large viewership numbers due to the late night timeslot, pre-empting, and overall interest. A recent edition featuring Bret Hart and Punk did draw the second best viewership in show history with 175,000 viewers.