‘Shark Tank’ Season 9: Mark Cuban Takes Kevin O’Leary’s Center Seat At Least Once This Season

Fans of Shark Tank know at least one thing for sure: Kevin O’Leary always gets the center seat on the panel. The tradition goes back not only to the origins of Shark Tank but to O’Leary’s time on Dragons’ Den, the CBC show of a similar format that predated the ABC powerhouse.

But during Season 9, it seems Shark Tank fans may get a glimpse into a new seating configuration, at least once. Mark Cuban, who started many years ago as a guest shark, apparently gets to sit in the power spot. Cuban offered the evidence recently on his Instagram page.

Also noticeably absent, however, is O’Leary. So even if there are Tank fans who might wish to see the self-dubbed “Mr. Wonderful” literally pushed off to the side, it appears O’Leary simply took a day off. In another photo uploaded by Cuban, O’Leary’s back center stage — but Robert Herjavec is seated on the left-hand side, Cuban’s old spot, with Daymond John on the far right. In that configuration, Cuban’s seated to O’Leary’s immediate right, although the Dallas Mavericks owner would probably balk at being called O’Leary’s “right hand man.”

As a side note, the sharks also have new chairs. With other new decor, the environment seems very beach-like or Californian.

In previous seasons, guest sharks never seemed to sub for O’Leary. He and Cuban were constants on the panel while Herjavec, Barbara Corcoran, John, and Lori Greiner would rotate. In the photo uploaded by Cuban, the panel is comprised of Herjavec, Corcoran, himself, Greiner and Rohan Oza, one of Season 9’s new guest panelists.

As Forbes and the Inquisitr both reported earlier, Shark Tank is settling in on Sunday nights as of October 1. The show has been on Friday nights for the entirety of its eight-year run, and Forbes contributor Ky Trang Ho guessed the switch to Sundays will surely boost ratings.

The show will face tough competition, however, from football until the season ends and then Steve Harvey and Ellen DeGeneres vehicles and Jennifer Lopez’s drama Shades of Blue according to Variety. That’s just on NBC. According to Deadline, the CBS Sunday night lineup will include the new series Wisdom of the Crowd and NCIS: Los Angeles.

Even if O’Leary won’t always be on the Shark Tank panel for every episode in Season 9, he has continued to promote the show through his social media feeds. He recently had a Facebook chat to discuss the schedule change, so the devoted Shark Tank audience knows to tune in before they start a new week working on their new entrepreneurial projects instead of relaxing after a week of putting in long hours building a new business.

Season 9 of Shark Tank will debut with a two-hour episode on Sunday, October 1, on ABC.

[Featured image by Matt Winkelmeyer/Aaron Davidson/Getty Images]