I have presented articles before about the favorite television show of inventors and entrepreneurs – Shark Tank. The articles have been about particular products, how deals are done and undone with the Sharks, and the preparations to take before pitching a Shark whether it be on TV or in a downtown office somewhere. This article pulls back the curtains a bit to give you a peek into the show’s production.
A new episode of Shark Tank is not taped on a weekly basis. The entire season is taped in two segments, each a little over a week long on consecutive days with no weekends off. The first taping segment is during the summer with the other one in the fall. That’s it. Twice a year for a total of 17 days or so.
Taping starts at 8:00am and lasts for eleven or twelve hours with few breaks. Dressing and make-up is done a half-hour or more before taping begins. The goal is to tape eight to twelve invention pitches a day. That’s a lot of sitting in leather chairs and looking fresh for the Sharks.
Because Shark Tank is first and foremost an entertainment television show, show producers try to select interesting products by interesting inventors with a story to tell. The goal is to put together a show that viewers will watch so that advertising can be sold. Entertainment factor is always present.
Each “pitch session” to the Sharks lasts an hour on average. There are no breaks during the pitches, even when the back and forth with the Sharks lasts up to two hours. Prior to going into the shark tank, crew members of the show set the lighting, position a dozen cameras, check physical appearances and coach the inventors how to be most effective.
Because people react to stressful situations differently, television viewers will be surprised to learn that Shark Tank employs the services of a licensed psychiatrist. The psychiatrist talks with the inventors before and immediately after their session with the Sharks, win or lose. Expectations are always high, sometimes unrealistically so. The producers want everyone to go home feeling as good as possible with their experience with the Sharks. It’s a good thing that the show cares enough to have a trained professional on set to help with the flood of post tank feelings.
Now that you have had a peek behind the curtains and know a little of what’s going on, hopefully you’ll enjoy this Friday’s Shark Tank a little bit more.
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