Since August of 2009, the Shark Tank has been entertaining Friday night television audiences with a diverse panel of millionaire investors and a constant stream of hopeful entrepreneurs looking for money to expand their businesses. Ratings have increased steadily since that time, and Shark Tank is more popular now than ever.
There are a number of reasons for the Shark Tank’s popularity. For one thing, the show’s premise is unique. There have been a number of talent-based shows on that covered a large number of musical interests of the prime time television audience for many years. The romance-based series have a strong following, as well. However, Shark Tank taps into the dreams that most people have entertained at one time or another – that of having their own successful business. The audience is able to relate to the entrepreneurs as they pitch their ideas in the hope of turning their businesses into something big. They come back week after week to watch a few, rooting for the little guy to see some success.
The stars of the show, of course, are the multi-millionaire and billionaire investors themselves. Each week, five very different potential investors listen to the pitches of the hopefuls, and either decide to invest for a slice of the business or send the disappointed would-be business partners on their way. Each is well-experienced, with excellent business sense and competitive natures that turn them into real-life sharks when they see a great idea with a significant earning potential.
In each Shark Tank episode, the sharks wait patiently for the candidates to finish their pitches. Their personalities differ considerable from affable to less so, such as when Kevin O’Leary refers to a presenter as a cockroach or dismisses them with a, “You’re dead to me” farewell. The differences in personalities are often the root of fireworks that can develop from there.
When they see a good deal, the Shark Tank investors can get edgy and competitive, exchanging glares, dirty looks, and comments as one of the other sharks tries to steal a good deal away. When asked about how the sharks get along in Season 6 by Entertainment Weekly, Daymond John said as follows.
“We’re really nasty to each other now. We get into one of our biggest fights, Lori and I against Robert and Mark, about ‘What’s a charity case?’ It gets heated. Of course, Kevin’s sitting there, yelling, ‘Save the money!'”
Hostility shows its face away from the camera, as well. Business Insider reported that Robert Herjavec told them as follows.
“Man, I hated Mark for the first two years. And he didn’t like me, either.”
He also said that he even walked off the set to avoid an escalation of the disagreement.
The other reason for the popularity of Shark Tank are the entrepreneurs. They appear in all shapes, sizes, and genders. Sometimes dressed in costumes, sometimes accompanied by children or animals, they come seeking an investment of money and expertise in their businesses. Some businesses involve simple items, like an attachment for a hose to fill water balloons. Some are more high-tech, like apps and electronic devices. They hope for an infusion of cash, some guidance from experts, validation of their efforts by attracting the sharks’ money, and exposure of their products and services to nearly 10 million viewers. To some, the exposure is as important as a deal and some businesses that do not get shark money benefit from their appearance on the show anyway. Those lucky enough to walk away with an investment and the prospect of guidance have a chance to see their businesses bloom and grow faster than they would have otherwise.
The Shark Tank has grown to be more popular since 2009 as a result of all of these factors and more. The shows’ premise, the expectation of some heated competition among sharks, and the hopeful interaction of the entrepreneurs with the sharks as they vie for investment, promise to help the popularity of Shark Tank continue to grow.