Why Mark Cuban Can Be Mean On ABC's Shark Tank

shark tank mark cuban

ABC found a surprise winner of a show with Shark Tank. The reality series gives entrepreneur contestants the opportunity to present their business ideas to a panel of investors who have made millions or even billions with their business savvy. The premise is certainly entertaining, but Shark Tank almost certainly would not have lasted for eight seasons now if not for the flair brought by the panelists, and Mark Cuban has been known to get pretty angry with certain folks who pitch their ideas. Cuban has explained why he feels he has the leeway to get mean with particular contestants, saying this:

If there's an entrepreneur who's got their life tied up in something, I'm not going to be mean. I'm going to be supportive, and I'll come up with suggestions, even if I'm not investing. But if you're trying to scam me, if you're trying to pull a quickie, or your product's a scam, I'm going to nail you. Because I know that people see these products and they'll go to buy them... Those situations, I'm going to crush you.

Contestants come onto Shark Tank to pitch everything from household goods to cutting-edge technology. The panelist sharks have the options to either invest right off the bat, fight other panelists to become prime investor, or pass on the product altogether. Mark Cuban often has a lot to say to individual contestants, whether he invests in their ventures or not. He's definitely not a shark who takes it easy on folks who ask for his money. Cuban's reveal on NPR's How I Built This podcast that he actively decides who does and doesn't deserve to be crushed on reality television is at least proof that entrepreneurs don't necessarily need to fear him when they appear on the show. As long as their products are genuine and their goals are on the straight and narrow, Mark Cuban is more likely to be a supporter than a detractor.

Of course, Mark Cuban isn't afraid to crush some of his fellow panelists if he believes that they're making mistakes. He's been blunt about what he considers their bad investment decisions. I know that I would blame entrepreneurs if they crossed their fingers that Cuban wouldn't have anything to say about their pitches. Sure, his praise goes a long way, but his criticism likely carries a lot of weight with viewers. After all, fans of the show might be especially interested in buying a product if they saw it pitched on Shark Tank; if Cuban decides that a product is a scam and says so on the show, that product may never get off the ground. If Cuban isn't reserved enough to divert his fury away from ABC when he feels he's been wronged, he's not going to hold back on a person that he thinks is knowingly pitching a faulty business.

Unfortunately, the show may be in enough ratings trouble that it doesn't have a long future ahead of it. The Season 8 premiere only attracted 4.9 million viewers and drew a relatively low 1.1 rating in the valuable 18 - 49 age demographic. The numbers were the lowest for any Shark Tank premiere since the very first season back in 2009. Although ABC hasn't made any announcements about a cancellation, a renewal is far from a sure thing.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest news on cancellations and renewals, and be sure to check out our midseason TV premiere schedule to see what shows will hit the airwaves in 2017.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).