USA picks up ‘WWE Tough Enough’

Reality series to return April 4

USA Network is continuing to embrace its wrestling culture with the pickup of “WWE Tough Enough.”

Hourlong reality skein, slated to debut April 4 from World Wresting Entertainment and Shed Media, will feature a group of 12 contestants looking to become the next big-time grappler. Winner will earn a contract with the WWE.

Cabler will give the series healthy promotion and a strong lead-in as it premieres the day following the latest installment of WrestleMania and in the timeslot immediately following USA’s “WWE Monday Night Raw.”

USA, which just finished its fifth year as the No. 1-rated cable network in total viewers and the 18-49 demo, has sustained its dominance mostly with a handful of highly rated scripted dramas, but wrestling has also played an important part in keeping viewers.

“WWE Tough Enough” first aired on MTV from 2001-04 before moving over to UPN for an additional season.

“For years, the return of ‘Tough Enough’ has been one of the most talked about and speculated topics amongst reality show fans and television industry insiders,” said Kevin Dunn, exec VP of television production at WWE. “With the combined promotional muscle of USA Network and WWE, the right timeslot and the reality show experience of Shed Media, WWE is looking forward to the successful return of one of television’s first reality show hits.”

Next up for USA is the launch of drama “Fairly Legal,” starring Sarah Shahi as a mediator. Skein will debut Jan. 20.