Mermaid Hoax Sets Record for Animal Planet

by | May 30, 2013 at 4:06 PM | TV News

"Mermaids: The New Evidence" (Photo: Animal Planet)

People’s fascination with mermaids — hoax be damned — continues.

Animal Planet’s mermaids sequel “Mermaids: The New Evidence” netted record ratings for the network.

Sunday’s “Mermaids” special delivered 3.6 million viewers, making it the most-watched telecast in the channel’s 17-year history, even beating the popular Super Bowl Sunday annual event, the Puppy Bowl.

The “mockumentary” is nothing more than a hoax, it’s all staged just like the original mermaid special was. But it muses on the possibility of real-life mermaids and uses actors to portray the mythical sea creatures, as well as the scientists featured on the program. The disclaimer at the end of the special even said so, if you happen to catch it before it disappeared.

“We wanted people to approach the story with a sense of possibility and a sense of wonder,” writer- producer Charlie Foley told ABC News in a segment that aired on “Good Morning America.” “Hopefully that’s what ‘Mermaids’ allowed viewers to do…allowed them to suspend their disbelief.”

Last year, the network aired “Mermaids: The Body Found” — which attracted 3.4 million viewers (and duped countless others).

After people started flipping over the “Mermaids” special, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was inundated with requests and actually issued a statement on the NOAA website to clear up any confusion over the existence of mermaids: “No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found.”

Check Out a Scene from “Mermaids: The New Evidence” Below: