Ian Ziering fights ‘The Last Sharknado’ as Syfy franchise ends


Ian Ziering’s Fin battles finned enemies one more time
Ian Ziering stars in “The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time” Sunday, Aug. 19, on Syfy.

For all the crises the world has to deal with, there’s about to be one less: the Sharknado.

An annual event for Syfy and fans of the horror-adventure-satire franchise, the popular cable-movie series that has shown its teeth from the start is coming to an end. Debuting Sunday, Aug. 19, “The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time” calls it six and done by sending chainsaw-wielding hero Fin (Ian Ziering) and his true love April (Tara Reid) back in time in order to end what, indeed, is destined to be the final tornado to drop sharks onto a terrified populace.

“Usually, it was me saying, ‘Oh, this has got to be the last one,’ but this was the first time I’d heard it from the network,” Ziering muses. “This script came in with so many more pages than what’s customary for a movie of this length, I wasn’t sure what was going to make it onto the screen. We shot everything, and the big challenge was to whittle it down to telecast constraints.”

The anticipated “Sharknado” basics remain, though, and Ziering believes the result “wraps up the series quite nicely. We go full-circle through time back to the beginning, with a new vision of the future and a new appreciation for what we have. That might not make sense until you see the movie, and then you’ll go, ‘Oh! I get it!’ ”


Ian Ziering stars in “The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time” Sunday, Aug. 19, on Syfy.

Part of the “Sharknado” fun has come from familiar faces in guest roles. The sixth and last edition features LaToya Jackson, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, music’s Dee Snider, “Saturday Night Live” alum Darrell Hammond and – of special interest to “Beverly Hills, 90210” devotees – Tori Spelling, in a cameo with husband Dean McDermott that reunites her with Ziering, who was Steve Sanders to her Donna Martin.

“It was the best,” Ziering enthuses. “I’m still very good friends with Tori, so getting a chance to work with her again was just awesome.” Noting such other players along the “Sharknado” way as David Hasselhoff, Vivica A. Fox and Judd Hirsch, Ziering says, “I’ve been very fortunate to work with some incredible people in this series, and they’ve all elevated the material.”

With television’s many revivals of late, Ziering doesn’t dispute “Sharknado” might have its day again. For now, he admits he was “expecting a far different outcome” from the original 2013 movie. “I didn’t think it was going to be ‘must-see TV’ for anyone, but this has broken all the rules. It’s created its own genre where everyone is in on the joke except for the characters in it, and it’s risen to iconic status. There are ‘Sharknado’ parties, and people are gearing up for Aug. 19. And it’s great.”


Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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