I almost turned down 'Sharknado,' Ian Ziering says

Ian Ziering is busy marketing "Sharknado 4," but the actor nearly turned down the opportunity to play action hero Fin Shepard in the franchise that became a cultural phenomenon.

"I had an argument with my wife. I said, this will be a misstep in my career," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday ahead of this weekend's premier of "Sharknado 4."

Instead, the SyFy channel's 2013 made-for-television movie "Sharknado" — which revolves around a shark-spewing tornado — became a surprise social- media sensation and spawned a series of annual summer sequels that air around the world.

"I did a press tour for South America. I spoke to every country, a round table, for every press opportunity down there," he said. "I did the same thing for Asia. I do the same thing for Europe."

Disclosure: CNBC and are owned by NBCUniversal, the parent company of SyFy.