Shark Week 2014 Earns Record Ratings

Week-Long Stunt Draws 42 Million Viewers

Discovery's "Shark Week" shows no signs of slowing down. After debuting on Sunday, Aug. 10 with 3.64 million total viewers, the remaining six days of the programming event proved a ratings success for the network. 

"Shark Week" has aired on Discovery every summer since 1988, and this year's installment earned the highest ratings ever among total viewers and women ages 25-54, as well as women ages 18-49.

A key draw for the network has been nightly talk show Shark After Dark, which was introduced in the 11 p.m. time slot last year. The 2014 rendition of the program outperformed all cable talk show competitors and saw a 3% ratings increase from 2013, according to Discovery. 

Shark Week also found success with its nightly, shark-themed specials. Tuesday's telecast of Alien Sharks: Return to the Abyss was the top TV program among M18-49 and M18-34, and Sunday's airing of Shark of Darkness: Wrath of Submarine was the No. 1 TV program among persons ages 18-34. Altogether, Shark Week 2014 made the Discovery the top overall network last week among Men 18-34 and 18-49. 

In total, the week drew 42 million viewers, down from last year's record high 53.1 million.

The network's social numbers, however, have increased: 13 million people had more than 21 million interactions relating to Shark Week on Facebook, a 110% increase from 2013's event.