The season 14 series premier, chock full of fights to earn a birth into the fighter house, did manage a respectable draw of 1.5 million viewers, however, according to Spike TV officials. In fact, that number is right on with the season 13 premier, and slightly lower than the 1.7 million viewers that season 12’s premier drew.
UFC president Dana White and both coaches were impressed by the roster of fighters for this season’s cast, and were excited for the fights that have yet to hit the TV screen, but it remains to be seen if that will be enough to bump the show’s numbers back up when the trend the past couple of seasons has been a leveling effect.
Season 14 mark’s the end of the line for the show on Spike TV, the network of its birth, but the series will return in 2012 on Fox’s FX network. The show in all likelihood can expect a resurgence on FX due to an overhaul in the format.
TUF will go to what White calls a “jive live” format in 2012. Footage filmed throughout a week will be quickly edited for a Friday night episode that will then host a live fight, which should inject some life into the series. The series is currently filmed months ahead of time over a six-week period, edited, and in the can before the first episode ever premiers.