Ducks and sharks made waves on cable, Hillary Clinton was at the center of a different kind of partisan battle, and there were ramifications as the game of chicken between …
EXCLUSIVE: When the dust settled, Discovery Channel’s Shark Week 2013 emerged as the most watched in the franchise’s 26-year history. An average of 2.12 million people watched Shark Week in primetime, Discovery says, and nearly 29 million unique viewers sampled the orgy of shark-dom. Sunday’s kickoff faux-documentary Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives survived the week as the most-watched program in the franchise’s history, with an average of nearly 5 million tuning in.
Shark Week was TV’s highest-rated franchise among 18-to-49-year-old guys last week, beating all cable nets and broadcast ones too — even NBC, with its returning NFL Sunday night preseason football. Overall, the franchise coughed up Discovery Channel’s best-ever week among 18-49. That’s because Shark Week programming bagged the highest-rated premieres in franchise history for their respective nights in the demo, starting with Megalodon on Sunday, Voodoo Sharks (Monday), I Escaped Jaws (Tuesday), Great White Serial Killer (Wednesday), Alien Sharks (Thursday) and Great White Gauntlet (Friday).
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The monstrous outrage over Shark Week’s opening-night fake documentary does not appear to have taken a bite out of the franchise’s performance. Wednesday, Great White Serial Killer clocked an average of 3.2 million viewers at 10 PM, to become Shark Week’s most-watched Wednesday program in the franchise’s 26 years. (Top Ten Sharkdown delivered 2.78 million viewers at 9.) Interestingly, Wednesday’s Serial Killer netted a bigger crowd than either of Shark Week’s Tuesday programs: I Escaped Jaws (2.71 million) and Spawn of Jaws (2.77 million).
Discovery’s Shark Week Facebook page was swamped Monday with self-described longtime viewers who raged against Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives – the opening-night premiere, in which actors playing scientists bloviated about the “return” of a monster shark that became extinct 1.5 million years ago. It appears that Shark Week fans are not regular viewers of Discovery’s Animal Planet channel, or they’d be wise to the whole fake docu programming thread that’s taking hold at the company. Just this past June, after Animal Planet’s fake docu, Mermaid: The New Evidence (a follow-up to its earlier fake docu, Mermaids: The Body Found) snagged that network’s biggest haul in its history (nearly 4 million viewers), the mermaid show’s creator was promoted to oversee a newly created Original Content Group for Discovery’s whole company of networks.
EXCLUSIVE: Discovery Channel’s Shark Week clocked its biggest audience in its 26-year history Sunday night. Nearly 5 million “fin-atics” (blame Discovery, not me) tuned in for the two-hour fake docu, Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives – not all of them happily. Megalodon was up 141% in the 25-54 demo compared to the same two hours of 2012. Later, Shark After Dark, Shark Week’s first ever late-night talk show, clocked 2.1 million viewers. Discovery noted this afternoon that Shark Week continues to dominate social conversation year after year. On Sunday, it was responsible for the #1 most social show — Megalodon — across broadcast and cable, according to SocialGuide, beating the NFL Hall of Fame Game — and even Justin Bieber: Never Say Never! Shark Week conversation on Twitter grew 66%, year over year, in primetime and late night, and was responsible for nearly 1 million Tweets for the day.
According to Facebook, Shark Week generated 3.4 million total interactions Sunday, and #SharkWeek was the top hashtag on the platform. Meanwhile, #Megalodon, Megalodon and #SharkAfterDark all trended worldwide on Twitter, in addition to #SharkWeek, Shark Week and #AirJaws trending in the United States. But a lot of that Facebook noise was not happy. Discovery’s Shark Week Facebook page on Monday was drowning in angry comments about Megalodon from some of those “fin-atics.” In keeping with this year’s more “humorous” approach to Shark Week, the network kicked things off with two-hour fake docu – which resembled those fake mermaid docus Discovery has run to record crowds.
EXCLUSIVE: Back when Shark After Dark was announced — from after-show impresario Michael Davies (The Talking Dead, Watch What Happens Live) and CBS late-night host/avid Shark Week fan Craig Ferguson — Discovery Channel said it was lining up guests for its first late-night Shark Week after-show who were Shark Week-passionate or had shark connections. Mark Cuban, of course, stars in ABC’s Shark Tank. Close enough. Lost fave Dominic Monaghan now stars in BBC America’s nature show, Wild Things With Dominic Monaghan which that network announced is returning for another season in 2014. And Tara Reid is enjoying a career resuscitation as one of the two-legged scenery chewers in Syfy’s flick/media darling Sharknado! which, in its third run on the network, snagged its biggest audience yet — 2 mil plus.
Related: Syfy Orders ‘Sharknado 2′
UPDATED, 1 PM: Hours after Syfy network announced it would repeat last night’s orgy of bad special effects and even worse acting known as Sharknado in response to the social media feeding frenzy it triggered, and word got out the network was mulling a sequel, Nielsen reported the movie was actually watched by an average of 1.369 million people.
In case you were one of the 312 million or so people in the country who did not watch, Sharknado, in round numbers, went like this: the ecological nightmare caused by global warming triggers a freak weather system that results in a mega tornado choc-a-block with angry sharks who sail through the air attacking innocent children and blondes, and causing to be uttered such lines as “they took my grandfather, so I really hate sharks.” The movie culminated in a mano-a-sharko scene, in which our hero Ian Ziering was swallowed by a flying shark but, happily, he had his chainsaw with him at the time; he sawed his way out, also rescuing the distressed damsel who’d earlier been consumed whole by same shark.
“Given the enormous popular demand, Syfy will present a special encore presentation of Sharknado on Thursday, July 18 at 7PM (ET/PT),” the network announced proudly this morning before the audience numbers came in.