‘Sharknado 4’ gets green signal

24 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Sharknado 3’ ratings sink.

NEW YORK — The pun is as fitting as it is inevitable, so let’s go ahead and get it out of the way: “Sharknado 3” has definitely jumped the shark.LOS ANGELES — Fearsome sharks rained down once more in the latest “Sharknado” TV movie, but they didn’t create the ratings deluge of last year’s installment.

Two years after Syfy’s original B-movie captured the zeitgeist and Twitter’s rapt attention — and a year after its follow-up set network records — No. 3 expectedly proved less formidable of a draw.More sharks and more celebrity cameos turned up for Syfy’s third installment of its low-budget, over-the-top disaster/horror/sci-fi/comedy franchise “Sharknado,” but that didn’t translate to more viewers. Two years ago, the original “Sharknado” film depicted a weather aberration on the Southern California coast that caused bloodthirsty sharks to cascade on hapless Angelenos. Nielsen estimates that “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No” averaged a 0.9 rating in adults 18-49 and 2.81 million viewers for its 9 p.m. premiere on Wednesday — down from last year’s “Sharknado 2: The Second One” (1.3 in 18-49, 3.87 million viewers overall).

Cast your vote for Sharknado 4,” squeals the headline over a picture of a screaming Reid covered in blood and gore. “Sharknado 3 may have devoured half of America’s celebrities, but there are still hungry fans and sharks to feed, so the adventure continues — not in a galaxy far, far away, but on your television sets next July,” promised Chris Regina, a senior programming executive at Syfy, in a statement. And, considering the social buzz Sharknado 3 still managed to capture, it’s unlikely anyone is rethinking the choice to greenlight No. 4 that was made before the numbers came in. Last Wednesday during the same 9-11 p.m. window, for example, Syfy averaged a 0.3 rating in 18-49 and 888,000 total viewers for a telecast of the 2011 theatrical “The Deep Blue Sea.” Also, “Sharknado 3″ was cable’s No. 1 original program for the night in adults 25-54 (1.0 rating) as well as total viewers, and Syfy was the No. 1-rated cable network from 9 to 11 p.m. in 18-49, 25-54 and total viewers. Syfy reports that the film generated 2 billion Twitter impressions — that’s “billion,” with a “b” — an amount twice as high as that generated by the second Sharknado movie in 2014.

Again played by “Beverly Hills, 90210” alum Ian Ziering, he headed to New York for quiet post-sharknado repose with his beloved, April (Tara Reid). Need more proof the world is ending? “Generating more Twitter activity than every episode of the final season of Mad Men, every episode of this season’s The Bachelor and Hillary Clinton’s presidential announcement, Sharknado 3 trended #1 in the United States and #2 worldwide,” a release boasts. But an even bigger, badder sharknado storm awaited him in the Big Apple, where he rallied take-no-guff New Yawkers in a feisty counterstrike. “Sharknado 2” was a hilarious treat. Needless to say, Syfy and schlockmasters The Asylum have announced that they’re teaming up for a fourth Sharknado movie, “expected to make landfall in July 2016.” The fourquel may or may not feature Sharknado staple Tara Reid: Syfy is letting fans decide whether her character will survive into the next movie.

After Sharknado and its first sequel took social media by storm to the tune of more than a billion tweets between the two films, Syfy upped the stakes for Wednesday’s Sharknado 3. This sounds epic in theory, but in practice only waters down the action, with Washington quickly left in ruins before the mayhem shifts to South Florida and points in between. The annual summer camp-fest ended with a piece of space shuttle wreckage hurtling toward April Shepard (Tara Reid) before cutting abruptly to black, after which a phrase is plastered on the screen: You decide if #AprilLives or #AprilDies.

Perhaps the most clever touch lampoons the through-the-gun-barrel point-of-view with which every James Bond film begins (though here, it’s through the gaping jaws of a shark), but that gag is over in the film’s opening seconds. Frankie Muniz is on hand, trying for and failing at a comeback. (He used to be so CUTE!) Other semi-bold-face names include Bo Derek, David Hasselhoff, Penn Jillette and Teller, Lou Ferrigno, and former Congressman Anthony Weiner, far less conspicuous here than he used to be on Twitter.

Ferrante was passionate about was having it all end on the beach in this wonderful family moment where they all hold hands, look up at the sky, Fin salutes his dad, and then we fade out. The biggest shortcoming: The film and its story seem to have been cobbled together not to entertain the audience, but to serve the varied interests of Syfy owner Comcast as a multi-pronged marketing assault. It’s a satisfying ending that doesn’t go on.” I wanted to take a page out of some of the classic television stunts that have been done and contemporize them.

More brazenly, the film spends lots of time in a certain Florida theme park owned by NBC Universal, which results in “Sharknado 3” serving less as a comedy than as a travelogue for Universal Studios Orlando. Unlike the first “Sharknado” film, which attacked without warning, and the second, an instant campy classic, this third outing is being hyped as a major television event. I mean, c’mon: if she can give birth in space in a f—ing spacesuit, only to have the baby emerge from a shark … (Laughs.) You really have to have a huge leash for creativity and imagination as a viewer to think that you’ve seen the end of April Shepard. If the fans and everyone decide that April’s meant to survive, then that’s what’s meant to happen, and if it goes the other way, I’m a survivor, and I’ll keep on doing great things.

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