06:23 AM EDT 10/16/2013

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Sharknado Trends on Twitter, Tanks on TV

Sharknado Trends on Twitter, But Not So Much on TV

Originally posted 07/13/2013 11:50AM

Sharknado-mania swept social media Thursday night, but outside of the Twitterverse it looks like most people chose not to take the sharkbait.

Recently released Nielsen ratings show that only about 1.4 million people watched SyFy's shlock masterpiece, which "realistically" (cough, cough) features man-eating sharks attacking unsuspecting Los Angeles residents after getting blown to shore by an epic storm.

According to USA Today, the Nielsen figure is downright average for a movie premiere on this channel, which has found a niche trotting out awesomely bad horror flicks. (Case in point: the 2011 film Mega Python vs. Gatoroid starring '80s queens Tiffany and Deborah Gibson.)

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Credit: Syfy
Did You Get Caught in the Sharknado Twitter Storm?

Sharknado: SyFy's Quirky Horror Movie Is a Hit – on Twitter

Originally posted 07/12/2013 02:45PM

How about this as a horror-movie concept? A mad scientist is convinced that within the large, strange brain of the shark lurks an untapped skill for written communication. What if a shark could be trained to post on Facebook? No – Twitter! Yes, yes, why not Twitter?!

The scientist is right! Then things go horribly awry when the beasts, routinely fed a chum of vitamins, radioactive materials and laptop circuitry, learn to compress themselves into 140 characters or less, disguising tail and fin with tempting hashtags like #HaveASnack. Click on an innocuous-looking Tweet and you may end up saying goodbye to your hand, your arm, your intestines – your life.

Syfy's two-hour schlock masterpiece Sharknado wasn't quite that: It was, as the blunt mash-up of a title suggests, about sharks blown inland by storms and dropping on people like so many saw-toothed cicadas. But the sheer cheeky nuttiness of it all – plus a cast that included Ian "I Have Danced at Chippendales" Ziering and Tara Reid – caused a Twitter feeding frenzy when it aired Thursday night.

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