When the investors on Shark Tank were doing press to welcome the new season, Barbara Corcoran revealed to Yahoo that there would be some surprises in store. The opening credits would change to emphasize the sharks’ individual rags-to-riches stories. As the season progresses, viewers will see extended profiles of the panelists, perhaps showing them in a different light.
In anticipation of Kevin O’Leary’s time in the spotlight, Corcoran said she was interested to see what the so-called “Mr. Wonderful” has to say. She had heard his segment was particularly emotional, a fitting counter to his often-touted “you’re dead to me” persona. She predicted she might actually be swayed by this new side of the crusty businessman sitting in the middle of the five-person panel.
“I understand that he actually cries on set. I hear that his story is so touching. And I can’t believe he’d touch me on anything!”
On Wednesday, Shark Tank posted a clip of the O’Leary segment on Twitter. In it, O’Leary seems to cry while speaking about his father. The full segment is set to air this Friday on a new episode of Shark Tank, when O’Leary appears to discuss how his family history has been reflected in his approach to business.
— Shark Tank (@ABCSharkTank) October 19, 2016
In a post on LinkedIn in 2015, O’Leary discussed his stepfather George, who steered a young Kevin to a life of study in order to support his passion. Although he’d had no original intention to become a businessman, his elder reminded him that he could not follow his passion, photography, without some sort of income. George’s words made an impression on O’Leary, who still takes pictures when not managing his investments.
“It’s not enough to say you want to be a photographer, or an actress, or a writer. You have to want to do all the necessary difficult things that are required to support that goal. Lots of people are willing to do just that. Some of them make it, both at the doing and the being… but George’s advice was that most don’t. I simply wasn’t willing to take that risk, to perform all the tasks and jobs required to support my dream of becoming a full-time photographer.”
O’Leary’s main talent seems to be promoting his own expertise as an investor through the media as a regular presence on North American television. He’s teased a formal entry into Canadian politics and has used his platform to express his opinions to the premier of Ontario, his home province, through publications such as The Huffington Post.
Now that Season 8 of Shark Tank has gotten underway, viewers have seen a slightly different look for the program. In addition to the new beginning, there have been shots of pitchers getting ready to go on set. There have been prayers and pep talks before facing the panel. But despite the attempts to make the show new and interesting, Business Insider has reported a sharp drop in ratings this year.
After its Season 8 debut, Shark Tank had a 15 percent decline in number of viewers overall and a 23 percent drop in viewers under the age of 50. However, the site noted that with the show in regular reruns on CNBC fans might only just be realizing that the new season has begun. Robert Herjavec said that eight seasons in they have had to take deliberate steps to keep things interesting.
Fans who are interested in seeing new entrepreneurs pitch the investors, and who want to see what makes Kevin O’Leary cry, can tune in Friday nights on ABC.
[Featured Image by Aaron Davidson/Getty Images]