“Smackdown” leaving CW


World Wrestling Entertainment is seeking a new outlet for “WWE Smackdown” after 10 years as one of the most prominent offerings on UPN and then The CW.

“After a successful decade of ‘SmackDown’ on both UPN and The CW, World Wrestling Entertainment and The CW have agreed to conclude our partnership. Since The CW’s exclusive negotiation period ran out as of last Thursday, January 31, we have been contacted and have been in negotiations with other networks. ‘WWE SmackDown’ will continue to air on The CW until the conclusion of the 2007-08 broadcast season. We are grateful to Les Moonves, Dawn Ostroff, and their entire organization for bringing ‘WWE SmackDown’ to millions of viewers for so many years,” WWE said in a statement.

TVBR observation: WWE already has one of the highest-rated shows on cable, with USA, so there could well be bidding interest from various cable nets to acquire the program. The obvious bidders in the forefront would be USA, owned by NBC Universal, and Spike, owned by Viacom.