Shark Tank, the critically-acclaimed reality showthat has reinvigorated entrepreneurship in America, has also become a culturally defining series. The recipient of the 2015 and 2014 Emmy Award for Outstanding Structured Reality Program, the business-themed show returns to the ABC Television Network for its seventh season.
The Sharks -- tough, self-made, multi-millionaire and billionaire tycoons -- continue their search to invest in the best businesses and products that America has to offer. The Sharks will once again give people from all walks of life the chance to chase the American dream, and potentially secure business deals that could make them millionaires.
The Sharks are: billionaire Mark Cuban, owner and chairman of AXS TV and outspoken owner of the 2011 NBA championship Dallas Mavericks; real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran; "Queen of QVC" Lori Greiner; technology innovator Robert Herjavec; fashion and branding expert Daymond John; and venture capitalist Kevin O'Leary.
The entrepreneurs who dare to enter the Tank must try to convince the Sharks to part with their own hard-earned cash and give them the funding they desperately need to turn their dreams into million dollar realities. All of the good, bad, emotional and even absurd pitches help showcase the "I wish I had thought of that" business ideas and products.
But the Sharks have a goal, too -- to get a return on their investment and own a piece of the next big business idea. When the Sharks hear an idea worth sinking their teeth into, they're more than ready to declare war and fight each other for a piece of it.
This season, Nick Woodman, one of America's newest and youngest billionaires and founder and CEO of GoPro, will be a guest Shark in multiple episodes. Forbes magazine calls GoPro a "cultural phenomenon" and "America's fastest-growing digital imaging company."
There will also be guest stars and specially-themed episodes, including ones featuring all-college students as well as all-veteran entrepreneurs. Episodes will continue to include follow-up stories, allowing viewers the opportunity to see how some investments led to success.
The hit unscripted series, which will reach its milestone 100th episode in November 2014, continues to be a ratings force, regularly finishing as Friday night's No. 1 series. Last season, Shark Tank dominated its 9 o'clock time period and surged by double digits year to year with Total Viewers (+16%) and Adults 18-49 (+14%), marking the series' best-ever season on both Nielsen measures.
In 2012 and 2013, Shark Tank received Emmy nominations for Outstanding Reality Program. Additional recognitions include two Summer Television Critics Association (TCA) nominations for Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming (winning in 2013), three Critics Choice Award nominations for Best Reality Series (winning in 2014), and three Producers Guild Award nominations.
In Season 6, the Sharks are on track to surpass the amount of money offered each season in their investment deals. Over the past five seasons, the Sharks have offered more than $45 million to bankroll a creative array of innovative entrepreneurs.
Viewers will continue to ride an emotional roller coaster this season, complete with heated fights between the Sharks, ingenious business ideas and touching moments. Whichever way the wheeling and dealing may go, many people's lives will be better off -- because they dared to enter the unpredictable waters of the Shark Tank.
Mark Burnett, Clay Newbill and Phil Gurin are the executive producers of Shark Tank, which is based on the Japanese Dragons' Den format created by Nippon Television Network Corporation. The series is produced by One Three Media in association with Sony Pictures Television.