"Sharknado" was a ratings failure

Despite the buzz on Twitter, cable viewership was low

By Prachi Gupta
July 12, 2013 10:30PM (UTC)
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If you checked your Twitter feed Thursday night, you were likely blinded by tweets mock-celebrating "Sharknado," the Syfy TV movie starring Tara Reid and Ian Ziering that is about exactly what it sounds like it would be about. "Sharknado" remained a top trend in the US well into the morning, cementing its place in pop culture forever -- at least for some of us. The cable ratings tell a different story, however. The LA Times reports that only 1 million people tuned in to watch:

Last night, Twitter turned into one long promotional platform for Syfy's "Sharknado, a spoof on disaster movies. But once again, it seems that a ton of tweets does not necessarily translate into huge ratings. "Sharknado" had an audience of just over 1 million people and only a 0.4 rating in the 18-49 demographic in early Nielsen numbers. Bottom line: It doesn't take a lot of people to make a lot of noise on Twitter.

According to Businessweek, that's "a bust, even by Syfy standards."


The average movie on Syfy, which prides itself on its made-for-TV B-movies, has "an average viewership of 1.5 million people, with some getting twice that."

Syfy will air "Sharknado" again on Aug. 22.

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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