Pharyngula

The wages of pseudoscience

I completely missed the disgraceful hokum the Animal Planet channel aired last week, Mermaids: The Body Found, a completely fictional pseudodocumentary dressed up as reality that claims mermaids exist. You can watch it now, though, until Animal Planet takes it down.

It’s genuinely awful. Total nonsense, gussied up with more nonsense: would you believe it justifies the story with the Aquatic Ape gobbledygook? Brian Switek has torn into it, and of course Deep Sea News is disgusted. How could the channel have so disgraced themselves with such cheap fiction?

Here’s the answer:

ANIMAL PLANET SLAYS WITH BEST-EVER MAY IN NETWORK HISTORY

– Monster Week’s MERMAIDS: THE BODY FOUND Made Mighty Splash with More Than 3.4 Million Viewers –

(May 30, 2012, Silver Spring, Md.) – Animal Planet devoured the month with its best May ever, earning its strongest performances in both prime and total delivery among all key demos, including prime deliveries of 681K P2+ (+7%), 508K HH (+7%), 330K P25-54 (+21%), 301K P18-49 (+12%) and 193K M25-54 (+30%), and total day deliveries of 456K P2+ (+13%), 355K HH (+10%), 215K P25-54 (+26%), 203K P18-49 (+13%) and 120K M25-54 (+32%).

Animal Planet’s May victory was propelled its first-ever Monster Week (the week of May 21), featuring MERMAIDS: THE BODY FOUND, which made a huge splash at the “tail” end of the week. MERMAIDS: THE BODY FOUND delivered nearly 2 million viewers (1.96M P2+) for its premiere, making it the most-watched telecast since the Steve Irwin memorial special in September 2006. The two-hour premiere scored a 1.3 HH rating and helped rank Animal Planet #2 in the timeslot, including 960K P25-54 (0.9), 482K M25-54 (1.0) and 477K W25-54 (0.9). The subsequent late-night airing of MERMAIDS: THE BODY FOUND earned the title of Animal Planet’s most-watched late-night telecast ever, delivering nearly 1.5M viewers (1.46M P2+), bringing the combined viewership to more than 3.4 million viewers. MERMAIDS: THE BODY FOUND encores Thursday, May 31, from 8-10 PM ET/PT.

Brace yourselves. More of this will be coming…unless more of us protest by turning off the Animal Planet channel altogether. They’ve just been rewarded for epic dishonesty with peak traffic; what lesson do you think they’ll learn from this?