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'Sharknado' big on Twitter, doesn't draw TV viewers

July 13, 2013 at 12:20 PM

LOS ANGELES, July 13 (UPI) -- Syfy's "Sharknado" may have taken social media by storm this week but Nielsen ratings indicate television viewers didn't find the film as much of a sensation.

"Sharknado," a science-fiction movie about sharks being hurled on land by tornadoes, premiered Thursday night and drew an average of 1.4 million viewers, Nielsen said.

That's a decent rating, the Los Angeles Times said Friday, but far from what Syfy's "Swamp Shark" drew in two years ago, with 2.2. million viewers.

"Swamp Shark," and other similarly themed Syfy films received nowhere near as much social media attention as "Sharknado," though.

"There are certain things that social media loves," said Sree Sreenivasan, chief digital officer at Columbia University.

But "just because someone's writing about you doesn't mean they'll buy your product," he added.

"Sharknado" drew 387,000 mentions on social media Thursday night -- mostly on Twitter, USA Today reported. Due to popular demand, Syfy said it's scheduling a repeat of the made-for-TV movie Thursday at 7 p.m. EDT.

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