Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives, a Discovery Channel documentary hoax, drew the highest ratings the network has ever gotten for their annual weeklong Shark Week programming special.

When the faux-documentary aired on Sunday night, it fetched 4.8 million viewers and achieved a 2.6 rating with adults in the 25-54 age bracket, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Those stats make The Shark Monster Lives, produced by Craig Philigian’s Pilgrim Studios, the highest-rated Shark Week episode to date (there are still few more days for something else to top it in the 26th annual Shark Week)

The star of The Monster Shark Lives, the Megalodon, became extinct roughly 15 million years ago. Viewers hoping to see proof that the long lost species still lived, were treated to “found footage” of the sea monster and “interviews” with people who’d encountered the massive deadly shark. The concept proved every bit as successful as it did for the Animal Planet with their fake mermaid documentaries Mermaids: The Body Found and Mermaids: The New Evidence.” And, like with the mermaids mockumentaries, there were those that took the program for its word – only finding out later that it was all a hoax.

In addition to Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives on Sunday night, aired Shark Week late night talk show Shark After Dark. Hosted by comedian Josh Wolf, the program fetched 2.1 million viewers and a 1.2 rating with adults in the 25-54 bracket – a 62% demographic improvement from last year’s comparable program.

The 2013 Shark Week will run until Saturday, Aug. 10.

– Chelsea Regan

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For More Like This:

Shark Week 2013: Live Shark Week Talk Show; 11 Hours Of New Material

‘Mermaids: The New Evidence,’ Animal Planet Documentary Hoax, Breaks Network Records

‘Mermaids: The Body Found’ Hoax Documentary Fools Audiences, Again

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