The weird week that was – Sharknados, Bearnados, and Cownados

Chick-Fil-A's cows invade WCTV's noon newscast. Mooo.
Chick-Fil-A’s cows invade WCTV’s noon newscast. Mooo.

Cows, bears, and sharks – oh my!

If one were to turn on the TV last week, you saw a lot of weird.

And Comic-Con hadn’t even begun yet.

Here’s the rundown…Rhode Island residents were given tips… on what to do when you come in contact with a bear; cows invaded a Tallahassee, Fla. news set; while computer-generated sharks invaded Los Angeles.

It’s been that type of week, people…


Nine cows – nine people in cow costumes that is, invaded the news set of CBS affiliate WCTV in Tallahassee, Fla. on July 8 (see photo above), holding Chick-Fil-A signs, telling viewers to “Eat More Chickin'” during the station’s noon newscast. WCTV’s news director told TV Spy it wasn’t a sponsored segment by the Atlanta-based restaurant chain (yeah, right). Some genius thought it would be a great idea for the cows to appear on the news set since they were hanging out at WCTV’s conference room. The cows also appeared in a weather segment, with the meteorologist inviting the costumed animals to appear with him in front of the green screen.

This sorry spectacle is reminiscent of what WLS-TV did at one time during the “Happy Talk” era when weatherman John Coleman brought a live turkey to the set during Thanksgiving. Well, at least the cows weren’t real, which otherwise would’ve lead to a whole batch of “other” problems…


If you thought that was bad, check this out: while Tallahassee was dealing with people in cow costumes, one unlucky resident of Rhode Island actually came face to face with a bear and didn’t know what to do. This prompted NBC affiliate WJAR-TV to lead off their 11 p.m. newscast with a segment last Thursday on what a do with confronted with a bear.

The execution came off as a poor parody of a music video. Her actions were so awkward, you’d think she was on a demented version of Soul Train. Is she giving tips or doing The Humpty Dance? Tribune-owned Fox affiliate WXMI in Grand Rapids had the answer as they decided to cut their own mix of the video the next day on their morning news sow (to see the clip, click here. Video begins after ad.)

Stephen Colbert – who is no fan of bears – must be laughing his ass off right now.

By the way, WJAR – like WCTV in Tallahassee – is the market’s news leader, by far. I know, scary thought, isn’t it?


But wait – there’s more… how about a fictional movie where a hurricane hits Los Angeles and spawns sharks to be scooped up in tornadoes and floods the city with them?

Gage and DeSoto never had to deal with anything like that on Emergency!

SyFy’s original movie Sharknado!, whose plot featured more holes than at a Chicago Heights public golf course, was a big hit on Twitter generating over 350,000 tweets overall, or about 5,000 tweets per minute. However, the Sharknado Tweetfest did not generate big ratings: The Thursday night movie only drew 1.4 million viewers and a 0.4 rating in the 18-49 demographic.

Sharknado, which featured Tara Reid and former Beverly Hills, 90210 star Ian Ziering, reminds yours truly of those movies WLS (and other ABC stations such as WABC-TV in New York and KTRK in Houston) used to show every afternoon in early fringe – many of them of the shlock B-level variety and were regularly lampooned (brilliantly, I might add) on Mystery Science Theater 3000. It just goes to show you how far we’ve come in made-for-TV-movie production. Or not.

Speaking of MST3K, this tweet I sent out Thursday night sums it up: