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‘Sharknado’ Twitter Tempest Actually Just a Small Squall

Syfy's creature feature tops social-trending charts Thursday but at numbers well below biggest TV events

Syfy’s campy “Sharknado” blew off the social-media doors Thursday night as the most-tweeted TV program in primetime, but the one-off movie is a relative minnow compared with the biggest television events.

The pic, featuring all manner of shark species swirling in a twister over L.A., generated more than 386,000 social interactions to take No. 1 spot among TV programs, according to the Trendrr social-media tracking service.

For NBCUniversal’s Syfy, that makes “Sharknado” its most social broadcast to date, more than triple the “Ghost Hunters” Halloween 2011 episode which had 118,000 comments, according to Trendrr.

At its peak, hashtag-friendly “Sharknado” captured 5,000 tweets per minute, according to Trendrr. It had very high engagement, too, with average 2.7 tweets per user. Syfy aired pic 9-11 p.m. (ET/PT) and re-aired it 1-3 a.m. Friday.

SocialGuide, the tracking service owned by the NM Incite joint venture of Nielsen and McKinsey, tallied 111,604 unique users who sent 318,232 tweets about “Sharknado” on Thursday the program, meaning 12.3% of all people who tweeted about TV yesterday tweeted about #Sharknado. Syfy movie had nearly double the tweeting audience and volume of the next most tweeted program on TV for July 11, the New York Yankees-Kansas Royals game, which was Derek Jeter’s first game back after an injury.

But “Sharknado” falls well short of setting any kind of social TV record.

This year’s Super Bowl XLVII on CBS, for example, drew 24.1 million tweets for the game and halftime show with Beyonce, according to Twitter. The 85th Academy Awards telecast on ABC in February generated 8.9 million Oscars-related tweets, social giant reported.

SEE ALSO: ‘Sharknado’ Takes Social Media By Storm

Meanwhile, Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” franchise, pulled in 1.6 million tweets last August, including mentions from Leonardo DiCaprio, Adam Levine and Ellen DeGeneres. Other data points: MTV’s “Teen Wolf” season 3 debut on June 3 resulted in about 1 million mentions, and Discovery’s June 23 broadcast of Nik Wallenda’s tightrope walk across the Grand Canyon each garnered about 1.3 million tweets.

Still, the relative success of “Sharknado” shows the power of social media to expose otherwise niche-oriented fare to a larger audience.

Syfy’s made-for-mockery creature flick earned rapt attention from many entertainment bizzers, including Mia Farrow, Michael Chiklis and NBC News’ Chuck Todd.

Previous shark-toplined entries from Syfy in the disaster-spoof subgenre include “2-Headed Shark Attack” with Carmen Electra — which Syfy re-aired Thursday following “Sharknado” — as well as Roger Corman’s “Sharktopus,” “Dinoshark” and “Shark Swarm.”

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