It’s Shark Week now, but it will be Shark Tank Week next month.
ABC Television is launching Shark Tank Week in September, during which an episode of the hit reality series will air every night from Sunday, September 8, through Friday, September 13.
Shark Tank just won the TCA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming.
Shark Tank Week — which will make a “big splash” by going against NBC’s new reality offering The Million Second Quiz — will consist of favorite past episodes apparently selected by the sharks (Robert Herjavec, Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, Mark Cuban, and Lori Greiner) themselves from the past four seasons. The season 5 premiere will be on Friday, September 20, at 9 pm Eastern.
Friday night is traditionally a low viewership night; Shark Tank, the evening’s top show on network TV, averages about seven million viewers in the prime demographic, and is also the kind of show for which the DVR comes in very handy.
“We love the idea of ‘Shark Tank week,’ ” said ABC president Paul Lee according to the Los Angeles Times. “We think it’s funny. [The show] has a huge, impassioned audience.”
If you haven’t the seen Shark Tank, what happens on the show 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 the panelists to invest in their venture. The show does suggest that entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in America despite the efforts of Washington bureaucrats. While the budding businessmen and women are looking for start-up capital to take their ideas to the next level, the hard-nosed sharks are looking to get a return on their investment and own a piece of the next big business idea. Shark Tank is a spin-off of the Canadian version of the Japanese show Dragons’ Den.
The millionaire sharks are sometimes overly stingy with their money (or overreaching with their demands for equity in a company), and on one notable episode all five refused to invest in a going concern because the patriotic owner declined to move production jobs offshore.
In addition to the amount of equity that the entrepreneurs have to sign over to one or more sharks, Forbes notes that at least in the past four seasons they also were required to give up five percent of their company or two percent of future royalties just for getting the chance to get on the show. For some entrepreneurs, the mere nationwide exposure (and humiliation) for their goods or services is worth it.
The pitches are of course edited for television, so the producers would make a lot of fans happy by putting the unedited versions (plus the ones that never make it to air) online as bonus footage.
Are you a fan of Shark Tank? Do you have a favorite shark?