July 12, 2013 1:19pm PT by Philiana Ng
TV Ratings: 'Sharknado' Draws 1.4 Million for Syfy
With social media celebrating the arrival of Syfy original movie Sharknado on Thursday night, the cable network had a decent outing in the ratings.
In its inaugural broadcast, Sharknado brought in 1.4 million total viewers, with 566,000 among adults 18-49, 617,000 in the 25-54 demo and 209,000 in the 18-34 grouping.
Syfy says the median age for Sharknado, 46.8, was the youngest for an original movie on the network since October 2011's Zombie Apocalypse.
Compared to previous Syfy TV movies, Sharknado is on par in the ratings. To compare, June's Independence Day-Saster averaged 1.3 million, April's Battledogs drew 1.5 million and March's Chupacabra vs. the Alamo lured 1.5 million.
Starring Ian Ziering and Tara Reid, the campy, low-budget movie about a tornado full of sharks destroying Los Angeles dominated the TV conversation Thursday night, generating hundreds of thousands of tweets, including some from Hollywood and D.C. heavyweights. At one point during the evening, Sharknado was generating about 5,000 tweets per minute.
Thomas Vitale, Syfy's executive vp programming and original movies, told The Hollywood Reporter on Friday that though the unexpected social media presence is welcome, it doesn't necessarily mean the viewers will follow. "Whether or not you can design a show that would get this kind of buzz on a week in and week out basis [remains to be seen]," Vitale says.
Premiering Sharknado on a Thursday, often seen as the biggest night of the week for television viewership, was intentional. (Syfy programmed a shark-themed marathon of B-movie fare as a lead-in to Sharknado.) "Thursday is a hot night on television. It’s one of the biggest nights for TV," Vitale said. "When we wanted to try a different night, we thought Thursday was going to be one we were going to experiment with."