USA Network's WWE Raw Expands to Three Hours

2:02 PM PST 05/17/2012 by Marisa Guthrie

The move coincides with the July 23 1000th episode of the Vince McMahon franchise.

USA network is doubling down on WWE.

Beginning July 23 with WWE Raw's 1000th episode, the network will permanently expand the Monday-night event to three hours live.

The announcement came Thursday afternoon at the USA's upfront presentation at Alice Tulley Hall.

WWE stars John Cena, who has more than 2 million Twitter followers, and Stephanie McMahon made the announcement themselves from the stage.

Raw has been a ratings and social media hit for USA, often featuring tabloid-favorite guest stars including Jersey Shore star Snooki.

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

“WWE is proud to celebrate this historic milestone with our partners at USA Network,” added WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon. “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.”

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