Syfy's Sharknado franchise finally seems to be losing its bite.
Last night's Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! drew 2.8 million viewers, including 1.1 million adults ages 18 to 49, according to Nielsen. That represents a 31 percent drop from last year's Sharknado 2: The Second One, which was watched by 3.9 million total viewers and 1.6 million adults 18 to 49. While the numbers are down, they still represent Syfy's highest ratings for an original telecast since Sharknado 2, which was the network's most-watched original movie ever.
Two years ago, the first Sharknado drew 1.4 million total viewers.
This year's ratings drop isn't surprising. While Syfy has built the franchise into Sharknado Week, the original film's novelty is long gone. And Sharknado 3 turned out to be little more than two hours of Comcast-branded content.
Syfy touted the film's social media performance today, saying it had 2 billion Twitter impressions, doubling last year's 1 billion. But social media isn't necessarily an accurate barometer of a show's actual ratings.
The disappointing ratings won't stop Syfy from going back to the Sharknado, well, at least one more time. The network announced a Sharknado 4, which will air next July, at the conclusion of last night's Sharknado 3. Syfy is allowing fans to decide whether Tara Reid's character, April, survives her encounter with the space-shuttle wreckage hurtling toward her at the end of Sharknado 3 by voting online or using the hashtags #AprilLives or #AprilDies on Twitter.
But the most important votes are already in—from Nielsen. And, whether or not April survives, the franchise's vitals aren't looking as healthy as they used to.