What Special Programming Event Had 29 Million People Tuning In to a Cable Channel Earlier This Month? C’mon, Take the Bait

August 13, 2013  •  Post A Comment

We’re pretty sure you know the answer to this one: Which special programming event set viewership records this month — that’s right, it was Discovery Channel’s Shark Week 2013, which became the most-watched Shark Week in the 26-year history of the programming franchise, Lisa de Moraes reports on Deadline.com.

"An average of 2.12 million people watched Shark Week in prime time, Discovery says, and nearly 29 million unique viewers sampled the orgy of shark-dom," de Moraes writes. "Sunday’s faux-documentary ‘Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives’ survived the week as the most watched program in the franchise’s history, with an average of nearly 5 million tuned in."

Shark Week really hooked viewers in the 18-49 male demo, the piece reports, topping everything on TV in the metric, including the return of NFL Sunday football (the preseason variety) to NBC.

De Moraes writes: "Overall, the franchise coughed up Discovery Channel’s best-ever week among 18-49 year-olds. That’s because Shark Week programming bagged the highest-rated premieres in franchise history for their respective nights in the demo, starting with ‘Megalodon’ on Sunday, ‘Voodoo Sharks’ (Monday), ‘I Escaped Jaws’ (Tuesday), ‘Great White Serial Killer’ (Wednesday), ‘Alien Sharks’ (Thursday) and ‘Great White Gauntlet’ (Friday)."

The event set personal bests in many key demos, including adults 18-34, 18-49, and 25-54. And it made a big splash in late-night.

"Shark Week’s first ever after-show, ‘Shark After Dark,’ netted more 18-34-year-old viewers on four of its five nights, besting Comedy Central’s ‘The Daily Show’ and ‘Colbert Report,’ TBS’s ‘Conan,’ Bravo’s ‘Watch What Happens Live’ and E!’s ‘Chelsea Lately,’ which … included one night guest-hosted by Lindsay Lohan," the piece reports, adding that "Shark After Dark" topped those competitors all five nights in the slightly older 18-49 and 25-54 demos.

"Interestingly, Shark Week 2013 was not Discovery Channel’s most watched week ever," the report adds. "That distinction still belongs to the week Discovery premiered its iconic ‘Raising the Mammoth’ special. That week in March of 2000, Discovery clocked an average of 2.35 million viewers. That said, the ‘Mammoth’ resurrection week skewed much older — median age of 44 years. Shark Week 2013 shed those older viewers and brought in more young ones, resulting in a median age of 37."

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