Bethenny Frankel is joining the cast of Shark Tank next season as she expands her reality show portfolio.
The Skinnygirl CEO, 46, will substitute when one of the six regulars — Barbara Corcoran, Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John, and “Mr. Wonderful” Kevin O’Leary — are unavailable for a taping session during the upcoming Season 9 of the hit ABC series. Typically, only five sharks appear on a given episode.
Frankel, the opinionated former Real Housewives of New York star, announced her Shark Tank gig on Twitter this morning.
Other guest sharks scheduled to rotate in for next season’s episodes are former New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, Spanx owner Sara Blakely, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, and Rohan Oza of Vitaminwater fame.
The Shark Tank Season 8 finale aired last Friday, May 12, with a viewership of four million (plus many more who used their DVRs to time-shift).
Past guest sharks included Ashton Kutcher, Chris Sacca, John Paul DeJoria, and Jeff Foxworthy.
According to Forbes, Bethenny Frankel was the seventh highest-paid reality star last year, banking $8.5 million.
“Frankel, 46, is no stranger to the business world. Amid a string of reality TV stints including The Real Housewives of New York and The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, the New York native published several books and launched the Skinnygirl cocktail company in 2011, which she later sold for $8.1 million,” the New York Daily News recalled.
If you haven’t the seen Shark Tank, what happens in the tank is that entrepreneurs or would-be entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to five often obnoxious, but oddly engaging, deep-pocketed “sharks” and try to convince at least one of them to invest in their venture.
The millionaire sharks, who bring to the table a diverse set of business experiences, are sometimes overly stingy with their money or overreaching with their demands for equity in a company or with their insistence on outsourcing manufacturing of a given product overseas. Mr. Wonderful often proposes convoluted royalty arrangements that are almost always rejected.
Occasionally a bidding war breaks out among multiple sharks who want to invest in the new business opportunity before them, although the more common scenario is for an entrepreneur to be forced to give up significantly more equity than he or she originally wanted to strike a deal with one or two of the sharks.
After grilling each entrepreneur for about an hour (only about 15 minutes of a pitch makes it into a Shark Tank episode, which suggests that the producers are sitting on a gold mine with outtakes), a shark who has no interest in the venture being discussed will announce his or her intentions with the signature catchphrase “I’m out.”
The TV publicity can be lucrative even for a rejected product or service, however, and can sometimes prompt alternative investors to come out of the woodwork.
A Canadian TV show called Dragon’s Den, which starred Herjavec and O’Leary, was the precursor to Shark Tank in the U.S.
Shark Tank won Emmy Awards in 2014, 2015, and 2016 in the category of best-structured reality program.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, Bethenny Frankel and realtor Fredrik Eklund (Million Dollar Listing New York) are teaming up for a new Bravo reality show with the working title The Bethenny and Fredrik Project. Frankel and Fredrik will be talking real estate and will work together to scout, buy, and design million-dollar properties.
As the Inquisitr has also chronicled, Frankel is apparently immersed in a feud with Romona Singer of the RHONY, prompting her to reportedly walk out on recent RHONY reunion dinner.
Are you in or out on Bethenny Frankel as a Shark Tank guest judge next season?
[Featured Image by Rainmaker Photo/MediaPunch/IPX via AP Images]