Season 4 of "Shark Tank" begins on Friday, September 14, and on this go round, the series got a complete 22-episode order. On the set during taping this summer, Mark Cuban, one of the sharks, talked about how the extra episodes affect him, what makes a good pitch, and how competitive the sharks are with each other.
'Shark Tank' expands to 22 episodes for Season 4
In the three previous seasons of "Shark Tank," there were no more than 15 episodes. The sharks filmed for one week each year and got every pitch under their belt. This time around, they are doing a full 22 shows and filming for three weeks. So what does this mean for Cuban and the other sharks? He replied, "No sleep."
But seriously, he continued, "We're thrilled for the crew and everybody, but when it went from 13 to 22, I was like, 'Oh my god. How are we going to deal with this?' All these businesses, they don't just run themselves, that's why we're here. And so they all take time."
Mark Cuban explains what makes a good pitch
Now that the show has been on for four seasons, the entrepreneurs have a better idea of how it all works. Cuban pointed out, "Once they realize they're going to be on the show, they'll go back, and they'll watch the episodes over and over, and do a scouting report on each of us, almost like a sport." He said that once the pitchers do their research, they'll determine which shark is best suited for their business and who they hope to work with. Then they'll adjust their pitch to aim for that shark.
He continued, "The best way to be prepared, if you come on the show, is to know your business inside and out. Know your numbers cold. Know why you want to be in this business. Because Robert's going to ask you why. Barbara's going to ask you why. They're going to want to find out where your heart, where your soul is. Kevin's going to hit you with the numbers… Be prepared for all those different angles."
The sharks get competitive with one another, for real
Watching "Shark Tank," a viewer might think the banter between the sharks is just playful, TV talk. But Cuban revealed the competition is real. He said they get very cutthroat. He stated, "We don't want to have the business that fails… we're friends, but we're as competitive as can be. It gets feisty." He even went so far as to compare it to a family dynamic where you know someone's habits so well that they start to annoy you, but they love each other all the same.
The Dallas Maverick's owner divulged that the sharks know absolutely nothing about the business owners before they enter the tank, but said that's what makes the show so interesting. As a shark he needs to evaluate these people on the spot and decide whether or not to give them his own money. He thinks about a company in relation to their industry and what he thinks he can bring to it to make it successful.
He also, admittedly, takes the other sharks into consideration. "Are they interested? How they might approach it and what you can do to kick their ass. That's why it gets so testy because we recognize it's a zero sum game. Either you get what you want, or you don't. And you've got four other smart people that are sharks that are thinking the exact same thing. So it really does get intense."
Watch the Season 4 premiere of "Shark Tank" on Friday, 9/14, at 8PM ESTon ABC.
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