For all the noise "Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!" generated on Twitter Wednesday night, the latest installment of Syfy's campy disaster-movie franchise failed to make much of a splash in the ratings.
According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, "Sharknado 3" scared up 2.81 million viewers and a 0.9 in the adults 18-49 demo, marking a 31% drop versus last summer's 1.3 rating.
While "Sharknado 3" was by far the night's most-watched program on cable, its demo performance only put it into a tie for first place with A&E's "Duck Dynasty." Overall deliveries of the third installment in the aquatic-predators-and-inclement-weather fable were down 28% from the year-ago 3.9 million viewers.
Steep declines aside, on a relatively sleepy summer night, "Sharknado 3" managed to beat out nearly every broadcast show in its 9 p.m.-11 p.m. broadcast window. Only Syfy sibling NBC's season premiere of "Last Comic Standing" topped the horror spoof in the dollar demo; the stand-up showcase averaged a 1.5 rating.
(Fox's "Home Free" tied "Sharknado 3" and "Duck Dynasty" with a 0.9 rating.)
If the linear TV ratings -- read: the stats that actually matter -- weren't exactly up to snuff, "Sharknado 3" had Twitter jabbering away like a chorus of bloodthirsty speed freaks. Syfy claims that the flick churned up 2 billion Twitter impressions, effectively doubling the noise generated by "Sharknado 2: The Second One."
While it's anyone's guess as to why "Sharknado 3" took such a tumble, this summer has been murder on ratings and overall TV usage. That said, the goofy charm of the first two movies was all but tossed overboard this time around, as Syfy parent Comcast more or less hijacked the narrative, manipulating the movie into a two-hour infomercial for everything from the Universal Studios Florida theme park to its Xfinity cable service. (The endless parade of NBC stars also was a bit much, although the synergy shenanigans were somewhat alleviated by -- SPOILER ALERT -- the sight of "Today" co-hosts Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Natalie Morales and Al Roker becoming fish food.)
Per iSpot.tv analysis, the brands that spent the most for time in "Sharknado 3" were Jack Link's Beef Jerky, Doritos, Hotels.com, Toyota, Pizza Hut and Universal Pictures' "The Visit." It can be no coincidence that three of the aforementioned brands are particularly popular among viewers most likely to have the munchies.
Nearly 10% of the available inventory was earmarked to promote Syfy's own programming. Among the shows heralded in the various in-house promos were "Reactor," "Geeks Who Drink," "Dominion," "12 Monkeys" and "Defiance."
Syfy earlier this afternoon confirmed that it has commissioned a fourth "Sharknado" movie, which will air in July 2016.