This week's WWE SmackDown, featuring Daniel Bryan's first appearance since finally being cleared to return to the ring for WWE, drew 2.888 million viewers. This is up 4% from last week's 2.771 million viewers and is the best blue brand viewership of 2018. This is also the best SmackDown viewership going back to the April 11th, 2017 episode.
This week's show featured Bryan's return to TV announced ahead of time but the news on his in-ring future didn't break until a few hours before the show. No matches were announced ahead of time.
SmackDown was #5 in viewership for the second week in a row on cable, behind Fixer Upper, Hannity, Rachel Maddow and Tucker Carlson. SmackDown was #1 for the night in the 18-49 demographic, also for the second week in a row.
In comparison, Monday's RAW drew 3.327 million viewers for The Ultimate Deletion, down from last week's 3.352 million viewers.
Below is our 2018 SmackDown Viewership Tracker:
January 2nd Episode: 2.720 million viewers
January 9th Episode: 2.603 million viewers
January 16th Episode: 2.602 million viewers
January 23rd Episode: 2.580 million viewers
January 30th Episode: 2.509 million viewers (Post-Royal Rumble Episode)
February 6th Episode: 2.505 million viewers
February 13th Episode: 2.449 million viewers
February 20th Episode: 2.613 million viewers
February 27th Episode: 2.692 million viewers
March 6th Episode: 2.590 million viewers
March 13th Episode: 2.771 million viewers
March 20th Episode: 2.888 million viewers
March 27th Episode:
2017 Total: 132.401 million viewers
2017 Average: 2.546 million viewers per episode
Source: ShowBuzz Daily
@AminAjani contributed to this article.