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WWE’s ‘Raw’ to expand to 3 hours

Show's 1,000th episode to air July 23

WWE’s “Monday Night Raw” will expand to three hours starting July 23. Date marks the show’s 1,000th episode, a TV record.

Show airs on USA Network and consistently ranks as one of cable’s top ratings performers.

From December through March, “Raw” was among the top 10 most watched regularly scheduled primetime shows on cable for adults 18-49, and was the most watched among men 18-34, hispanic and african-american auds on USA Network, according to Nielsen.

WWE made the announcement using the Twitter feed of its top star John Cena during USA’s upfront presentation in New York City.

“The WWE Universe is one of the most socially active and passionate fanbases in all of television,” said Chris McCumber and Jeff Wachtel, co-presidents of USA Network, in a statement. “The powerful three-hour block of live TV truly makes USA the year-round destination for young male viewers on Monday nights.”

WWE chairman-CEO Vince McMahon said, “Our new three-hour ‘Raw’ represents the next generation in interactive television, where our fans won’t just watch the show, they will help create it.”

Company said it will use its website to let viewers decide matches, stipulations and story development involving its wrestlers.

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