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'Sharknado' still swallows up local viewers

Perhaps Tim Clark, commissioner of the Buffalo Niagara Film Office, should have issued a “Sharknado 4” warning earlier to juice the local ratings.

Only six hours before the Sunday premiere of “Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens,” he sent me an email.

“Grab some popcorn and shark repellent and make sure to tune in to Syfy Channel tonight,” he wrote. “Niagara Falls is expected to make a BIG cameo performance. A discreet movie crew and actor Ian Ziering snuck into town in April to film some ‘secret’ scenes here… I was sworn to secrecy (really) until now.”

I don’t read my emails frequently on Sundays but tweeted the BIG news as soon as I saw it because I know how important “Sharknado” has become.

Not really.

If it were that important, WikiLeaks would have hacked the production company and leaked the script.

Perhaps I'm being too kind.

"What script?" cracked one of my sources.

[RELATED: 'Sharknado 4' ended (ridiculously) at Niagara Falls]

In any event, Clark’s late warning wasn’t enough to propel “Sharknado 4” to the same local ratings heights of its last two predecessors.

The 8 p.m. Sunday premiere – which was an hour earlier than previous installments – had a 3.0 rating and the repeat the same night a 0.7.

That was much higher than the first “Sharknado” in July of 2013 that had celebrities tweeting about it being cheesy and ridiculous. It had a 1.2 local rating which grew to a 1.7 when it was repeated two weeks later by popular demand.

“Sharknado 2,” which had scenes of the intentionally campy movie shot in Buffalo, had a 4.4 local premiere rating in July of 2014 and a 1.8 rating for a repeat the same night.

“Sharknado 3” had a 3.6 local premiere rating in July of 2015 and a 0.9 for a repeat the same night.

In other words, the franchise is on a local ratings decline. However, a 3.0 live rating for a Syfy program happens slightly more often than a “nuclear nado” heads to Niagara Falls and Buffalo, as it supposedly did Sunday.

So clearly, WNYers would vote for a “Sharknado 5.”

Channel 7 sports anchor Shawn Stepner’s departure date has been moved up about three weeks after he was hired by another E.W. Scripps Company station,  WMAR-TV in Baltimore. He is joining a station that covers sports, but hasn’t had a sports anchor. He will be a sports reporter at WMAR but also will cover community stories in the market.

Fox has announced there will be a second season of the military-style reality series “American Grit” hosted by John Cena. Colden’s Mark Bouquin was a co-winner of the first season, which earned him $250,000. The renewal is a mild surprise since the first year of the program didn’t do that well locally or nationally in the ratings.

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