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Syfy's 'Sharknado' Draws Big Social Media Buzz, Not Big Ratings

7/12/2013 2:00 PM

Syfy’s original movie Sharknado may have taken a big bite out of social media sites Thursday night, but it was relatively toothless on the ratings front.

The campy horror movie -- in which sharks swept up in a tornado eventually fall out the sky to terrorize the citizens of Los Angeles -- averaged 1.3 million viewers according to network officials, which failed to land it among Syfy’s top 10 most-watched original movies. The telepic, which starred Tara Reid and Ian Ziering, was still a big success for the network as it generated a feeding frenzy in the social media space, becoming Syfy's most social telecast ever.

The movie generated nearly 5,000 tweets a minute at its peak, and 387,000 social mentions overall -- mostly driven by Twitter, said Syfy. It also drew tweets from such celebrities as Patton Oswalt, Damon Lindelof, Elizabeth Banks, Olivia Wilde, and Mia Farrow, and received shoutouts about its social media chops from several morning news outlets including Good Morning America.

The movie appealed particularly to young viewers, which may explain its social media performance. The movie’s 46.8 median age was the lowest for a Syfy movie since 2012’s Zombie Apocalypse, and the 566,000 adult 18-49 year old viewers it drew was up 29% compared to Syfy’s 2013 original movie average, according to the network.

It'll be interesting to see what next Thursday's replay of Sharknado does from a ratings perspective given all the press coverage and social media buzz. In the meantime, can a Sharknado sequel be too far off?