(CNN) — Shark Week still has plenty of bite.
Now in its 27th year, the debut of Discovery Channel’s weeklong ode to the master of the sea broke records by pulling in the highest ratings in its history. Sunday night’s programming attracted more than 3.6 million total viewers.
That made it the network’s 13th highest-rated prime time evening ever with the biggest viewership gains coming from women 25-54. That demographic increased by 18% this season.
Discovery offers multiple programs throughout the week to feed the shark pop culture frenzy and viewers used Sunday to dive right in.
“Shark of Darkness: Wrath of Submarine” pulled in more than 3.8 million viewers and a 2.43 rating in the coveted 25-54 viewership demo. “Air Jaws: Fin of Fury” nabbed almost 3.3 million viewers and was up 57% over last year’s programming.
The much-anticipated annual summer event has turned pop cultural phenomena and saw #SharkWeek and 10 other related trending topics rise on Twitter as fans took to social media to discuss the shows.
It’s part of a trend of beloved shark programming that has found favor with viewers, including Syfy’s campy made-for-TV movies “Sharknado” and “Sharknado 2: The Second One.”