'Shark Week' off on right fin


Discovery Channel's "Shark Week" kicked off Sunday night with the highest-rated premiere episode on record for the programming event.

"Ocean of Fear: The Worst Shark Attack Ever" drew 3.9 million total viewers from 9-11 p.m. Sunday, according to Nielsen Media Research data available since 1996. That outperformed 2003's "Anatomy of a Shark Bite" (3.2 million).

"Ocean of Fear," narrated by Richard Dreyfuss, tells the story of the crew of the USS Indianapolis, sunk by two torpedoes in the Philippine Sea on the night of July 30, 1945. Nine hundred sailors hit the water, floating helplessly for four days, having to deal with hunger and thirst and menaced by hundreds of sharks. Only 321 came out of the water alive.

"Shark Week" — featuring more than 130 hours of shark-themed programming — kicked off its 20th anniversary Sunday and runs through Saturday.