How The Big Bang Theory has affected AEW Dynamite’s early-minute viewership

Reruns of “The Big Bang Theory” are now Dynamite’s lead-in since moving to TBS. Dynamite’s opening minutes are seeing huge viewership relative to the overall telecast.

In May 2021, it was announced that AEW would move Dynamite to TBS starting January 5. Dynamite’s TBS debut achieved the show’s highest P18-49 rating with a 0.43 rating and nearly matched total viewership from an episode two weeks previous at 1,010,000.

When Dynamite was in its previous timeslot on TNT, it was typically preceded by a movie. Often “The Equalizer” or “The Accountant” aired. Now Dynamite has a new lead-in, and it has, so far, proven to be a significant benefit.

The first three weeks so far on TBS have resulted in Dynamite opening with the strongest disparity to its audience relative to the telecast’s overall average, with the exception of twice when NBA games were a lead-in for preemptions.

“The Big Bang Theory” has at least a two-hour block on TBS from Monday through Thursday. According to data from, Dynamite likely inherits a comparable audience in the coveted 18 to 49 age demographic and a larger total viewership from the end of “The Big Bang Theory”.

On January 5, Dynamite’s debut on TBS, “The Big Bang Theory” started out at 910,000 viewers on average with a 0.27 rating in P18-49 and increased to 1,468,000 viewers on average with a 0.34 rating in P18-49 before Dynamite aired. These numbers are the typical averages for “The Big Bang Theory” during their weeknight block on TBS, and they’re among the most-watched non-original telecasts on cable, despite the final first-run of the sitcom airing on CBS in 2019.

The next week saw a similar boost. The January 12 night block of “The Big Bang Theory” went from 840,000 viewers on average with a 0.21 P18-49 rating to 1,507,000 viewers on average with a 0.42 P18-49 rating. Dynamite was watched by 969,000 viewers on average and had a 0.39 P18-49 rating nearly matching Raw that week in P18-49.

USA Network and Fox don’t have similar strong lead-ins for Raw and Smackdown. However, “Law and Order” appears to have given NXT an early boost back when the show was on Wednesdays.

The outlier for Smackdown that stands out in the chart below is when it followed an NFL game on Christmas 2020.

Brandon Thurston has gone back to 2019 to chart the peak minutes for Dynamite, Raw, Smackdown, Rampage and NXT. The data and takeaways can be found exclusively on the Wrestlenomics Patreon.

Jason Ounpraseuth has covered pro wrestling since 2019. He co-hosts the Gentlemen’s Wrestling Podcast.

Brandon Thurston has written about wrestling business since 2015. He’s also an independent pro wrestler and trainer. For more, see our About page.

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