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Beard signs 2-year deal with Ch.2; "Sharknado 3" takes bite out of networks

Over the years, Channel 2 “Daybreak” co-anchor John Beard has talked about quitting TV to go into teaching or politics in his native North Carolina.

But he isn’t going anywhere for awhile.

Beard confirmed that he has signed a new two-year deal to stay at the NBC affiliate through August of 2017. That is seven months after the end of the deal that Channel 2 has with Beard’s close friend, weather anchor Kevin O’Connell.

“I love the town and have a lot of friends here,” said Beard. “I feel the same way about January and February as everyone here. Other than those months, there can’t be a better place.”

Beard’s new deal is good news for Channel 2, which has dominated in the morning with Beard and Melissa Holmes sharing co-anchor duties.

Beard tried to dance away from questions about how much vacation time he is getting in his new deal before saying it was “a fair amount.”

“There is not much warm weather time off,” he added.

Beard seems to get as much vacation time as Johnny Carson did during his heyday on “The Tonight Show.” Channel 2 is fortunate to have Pete Gallivan ready to fill-in as “Daybreak” anchor when Beard is off.

If Western New Yorkers have any say about it, there will be a “Sharknado 4.”

Wednesday night’s cable premiere of “Sharknado 3” reached spectacular local heights for a cable show. You could say ratings were in outer space.

The 9 p.m. premiere had a live household rating here of 3.6 on Syfy, which was about a 20 percent drop from the 4.4 that "Sharknado 2" had a year ago when the film had a few scenes shot in WNY. However, the 3.6 still was higher than every program on broadcast networks ABC and Fox, slightly higher than the Halle Berry series “Extant” on CBS and higher than the 10 p.m. newscasts on Channel 23 and Channel 29. However, it didn’t beat programs on NBC, which has the same owner as Syfy. The 11 p.m. repeat had a 0.9 rating. Undoubtedly, the intentionally bad B-movie battle with flying sharks will get more viewers On Demand and via DVRs.

The most interesting thing I saw in the hour -- besides some cameos I won't reveal to avoid ruining it for future "Sharknado 3" viewers -- was how some advertisers pitched their products with a Sharknado theme.

However, the supposedly "trending" tweets Syfy showed in which fans proclaimed their love for “Sharknado 3” and even called it "the best movie ever" seemed as phony as the film's special effects. Donald Trump doesn't even exaggerate that much.

By the way, I wasn't alone in losing interest during the two hours. "Sharknado" started with a 4.4 rating at 9 p.m. and slipped almost 40 percent to a 2.9 at 10:15 p.m. and stayed there until the end.

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