Syfy tears a chunk out of the Discovery Channel with recently announced Sharknado week
Back in the summer of 1987, the Discovery Channel launched a now annual television event that holds a special place in the heart of all nature enthusiasts. That event was called Shark Week, and it has become one of television’s most anticipated summer events. Originally devised as a weeklong series of programs dedicated to sharks, in order to raise awareness and respect for them – the series has evolved into a full-on pop culture event. In fact, Shark Week is the longest running cable television programming event in history, so clearly Discovery have done something right.
It’s not entirely surprising then that somebody might try and steal some of their limelight – if anything, it’s shocking that it has taken 27 years!
Last year, Syfy achieved an alarming amount of attention for a film they co-produced with infamous movie studio The Asylum. That film was of course, Sharknado, which set social networks ablaze with its ludicrous concept and “so bad, it’s good” comedy wiles. It wasn’t just random people talking about it either, as the film seemed to catch the attention of a number of celebrities, causing Sharknado to spread even further than many other films of its ilk.
As such, this has prompted Syfy to announce its very own Sharknado Week, a move that has reportedly left Discovery executives none too thrilled. What makes matters worse for the channel is that Sharknado Week will be debuting at least two weeks earlier than Shark Week, and will feature a number of highlights, including the premiere of Sharknado 2: The Second One, which is expected to be a huge draw for Syfy.
Syfy haven’t exactly been coy about their rip-off either – the channel’s statement is full of the kind of slanguage that Discovery made popular with Shark Week. This is really just adding insult to injury, especially when you consider that Discovery invited Sharknado stars Ian Ziering and Tara Reid onto Shark Week last year – clearly a case of stealing the family silver on the way out of the dinner party.
Syfy’s full statement is below:
HIGHLIGHTS OF SYFY’S SHARKNADO WEEK (ALL TIMES ET/PT)
Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark – Saturday, July 26 at 9PM – When the U.S. government creates an exact robotic copy of the original mega shark, this new mecha shark runs wild – with only the original mega shark standing in the way of global destruction. A production of The Asylum, the movie stars Christopher Judge (Stargate SG1) and Elisabeth Rohm (American Hustle). TV movie.
Sharkmania: The Top 15 Biggest Baddest Bloodiest Bites – Premieres Sunday, July 27 at 9PM – This original documentary special takes a light-hearted look back at the 15 best shark movie bites of all time. Comedians, actors and celebrities including Ian Ziering, Brooke Hogan, Richard Moll, Downtown Julie Brown and Mark McGrath discuss their favorite scenes – fun, ridiculous and frightening – from classic shark movies such as Jaws to the outrageous Sharktopus and Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. A production of Associated Television International. Executive producer: Jim Romanovich. Producers: Dan Goldman, David Stephan. Consulting producer: Robert Corsini.
Sharknado 2: The Second One – Wednesday, July 30 at 9PM – In Sharknado 2: The Second One, the sequel to last summer’s global pop culture sensation, a freak weather system turns its deadly fury on New York City, unleashing a Sharknado on the population and its most cherished iconic sites – and only Fin (Ian Ziering) and April (Tara Reid) can save the Big Apple. The movie, directed by Anthony C. Ferrante from a screenplay by Thunder Levin, also stars Mark McGrath, Kari Wuhrer, Vivica A. Fox and Judah Friedlander, with cameo appearances including Kelly Osbourne, Judd Hirsch, Perez Hilton, Matt Lauer, Al Roker, Andy Dick, Robert Klein, Sandra “Pepa” Denton, Biz Markie, Downtown Julie Brown, Richard Kind and Kurt Angle, among others. Sharknado 2: The Second One is a production of The Asylum.
Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda – Sunday, August 2 at 9PM – In this new Roger Corman movie, the child of Sharktopus goes toe-to-toe with the latest science experiment “Pteracuda” – half Pteradactyl, half Barracuda – in a battle for monster supremacy. A production of New Horizons Pictures, the movie stars Robert Carradine (Django Unchained) and Katie Savoy (Living with Models).
There’s certainly a lot there for fans of bad shark movies to sink their teeth into. One can hope that this doesn’t affect Discovery’s event too much, and that Shark Week will continue to see large viewing figures this summer. After all, Syfy is clearly hoping that fans of Shark Week will also watch Sharknado Week, not the other way around.
On the bright side, this may force Discovery to be more aggressive with their Shark Week programming, ultimately inspiring them to create even better shark related content, which surely, makes everyone a winner?
Oh well, Shark happens (Sorry).