Shark Week swims to the top of TV ratings

Shark Week swims to the top of TV ratings

Brielle Clearfield ('15)/ Eastside Radio Manager

The latest craze has shifted focus this week to a new topic… Shark Week.

Shark Week started Sunday, August 4th on the Discovery channel and lasts for a week. The duration of Shark Week hones into many specials on different types of shark’s swimming and hunting for prey.

Shark Week was first broadcasted on July 17th, 1987, making it the longest running cable television programming event in history. Shark Week has expanded over time and is now broadcasting in over 72 different countries. Shark Week was originally aired to raise awareness and give respect to the sharks.

Shark Week airs a new program every day for about two hours and runs for a week straight.

Sunday night was the kick off of Shark Week. It started off with the airing of “Air Jaws” at 8 p.m. and “Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives” at 9 p.m.

Continuing Monday night with “Return of Jaws” at 9 p.m. and “Voodoo Sharks” at 10 p.m.

Tuesday night had the showing of “I Escaped Jaws” at 9 p.m. and “Spawn of Jaws” at 10 p.m., while Wednesday night held the “Top 10 Sharkdown” at 9 p.m. and “Great White Serial Killer” at 10 p.m.

Thursday showed “Sharkpocalypse” at 9 p.m. and “Alien Sharks of the Deep” at 10 p.m., and the week’s specials conclude Friday night with “The Great White Gauntlet” at 8 p.m.

Every night ends with a special wrapping up the nights events with “Shark After Dark” at 11 p.m.. This is an hour segment of conversation related to clips from past Shark Weeks with viewer interactions hosted by comedian Josh Wolf and shark experts.

Many viewers have said that the appeal in Shark Week lies in the attack footage of sharks. Since sharks are a fear of many viewers, it is intriguing to watch them in their habitat and undergoing an attack. This week is extremely popular because it gives viewers a “thrill.”

The main hype of Shark Week appears to hit the media big time on Twitter and Facebook with “Shark Week” and “Megalodon”appearing as trending topics.

Shark Week is also popping up in other unexpected places. Coldstone Creamery has even dedicated an ice cream towards the Shark Week Frenzy – dying their Sweet Cream ice cream blue and adding gram-crackers and gummy sharks. Fast food restaurant Wendy’s is also showcasing their Shark Week love by making their boxes have sharp teeth around the edges to represent a shark.

Shark Week even has an app for the iPhone and Android. On the application, the user is able to interact on the interface with other Shark Week followers and receive updates of latest episodes. Users are also able to track live sharks in their area and read stories on shark attacks. Also on the application, there is a poll for users to cast their vote on which shark they think is the best.

In a poll taken yesterday, 16% of people who answered said that sharks should be feared while 84% of people who answered said that sharks should be admired.

Shark Week is based on the promotion of factual information about sharks, but this year, the documentary on the Megalodon was actually fake. The Megadolon shark has gone extinct over 2 million years ago, but was presented by the Discovery channel as possibly still being alive today.

Executive producer of Shark Week, Michael Sorensen, defended the Megalodon special to many at Fox News.

“With a whole week of Shark Week programming ahead of us, we wanted to explore the possibilities of Megalodon,” he said. “It’s one of the most debated shark discussions of all time, can Megalodon exist today? It’s Ultimate Shark Week fantasy. The stories have been out there for years and with 95% of the ocean unexplored, who really knows?”

All and all, Shark Week is a pretty jawesome program to watch. Make sure you check it out, chum.