‘Shark Tank’ Season 9 Preview: New Night, More Guest Sharks

Shark Tank fans may have become accustomed to settling in to watch budding entrepreneurs pitch the investors as part of ABC’s Friday night lineup. But for the upcoming Season 9, Shank Tank fans will have to set their DVRs for Sunday or switch up their television-watching routine.

Kevin O’Leary talked about the new season during a visit to Boston ABC affiliate WCVB earlier this month. He said that among the show’s guest sharks are some well-known entrepreneurs. Earlier seasons have featured Ashton Kutcher, Chris Sacca, and Troy Carter. Mark Cuban was even a guest shark before becoming a regular in Season 3.

According to an ABC press release, the guest sharks for Season 9 will be Spanx founder Sara Blakely, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, Skinnygirl founder Bethenny Frankel, brand innovator Rohan Oza, and baseball icon Alex Rodriguez.

In terms of industry representation and business background, the guest sharks are a pretty wide-ranging group. Audiences who only know Rodriguez as an athlete might be interested to know he actually runs a large corporation with more than 200 employees. Oza has been involved in deals featuring such high-profile brands as Vitaminwater, Smartwater, and Popchips.

The press release did not specify when the guest sharks will start appearing. In previous seasons, guest sharks sat on the panel with a rotating group of four of the regular sharks. The regular castmembers are O’Leary, Daymond John, Robert Herjavec, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, and Cuban.

All deals are confidential until Shark Tank airs, of course, but O’Leary told WCVB that he did a deal with Frankel. Shark Tank episodes are normally taped during two marathon shooting periods over the summer and fall. Back in 2015, Herjavec told Business Insider that an entire season is filmed over 17 days, divided into two chunks. Each shooting day was about 12 hours in length and the sharks saw eight pitches over those 12 hours.

Shark Tank is up for two Emmy awards this year, for Outstanding Structured Reality Program and Outstanding Picture Editing. The show has been nominated in the same categories in previous years, taking home Outstanding Program in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Season 9 of Shark Tank will debut Sunday night, October 1, on ABC.

[Featured Image by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]