Is ABC in Danger of Running ‘Shark Tank’ into the Ground?

Is ABC in Danger of Running ‘Shark Tank’ into the Ground?

Mark Cuban, Shark Tank
SHARK TANK - "Episode 502" - There's potential millions at stake when the Sharks recognize one irresistible product and a feeding frenzy ensues among all of them, including guest Shark Steve Tisch, co-owner of the New York Giants and film producer. Whose offer will win? This week's entrepreneurs include sisters from Normal, Illinois whose gourmet edible cookie dough is meant to be enjoyed unbaked; Los Angeles entrepreneurs who've created organic flavored milk that tastes like what's left in the bowl after you've eaten your favorite cereal; an IPhone app by a Georgia inventor that uses the phone's built-in hardware to make it spin hands-free for panoramic picture taking; and an interactive workout technology from an Austin, Texas entrepreneur who brings out Olympic boxer Marlen Esparza to demo his product. Plus, we follow up with the Morganville, NJ owner of Pro-NRG, a protein infused water endorsed by the NFL's Brandon Jacobs, in which Daymond John invested last season on "Shark Tank," FRIDAY, JANUARY 31 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Craig Sjodin) MARK CUBAN

Mark Cuban, Shark TankABC Television Network

Shark Tank is riding a wave of popularity that is really kicking up the quality of life for its millionaires and billionaires. The denizens of the tanks are regulars on the talk show circuit and have journalists filing story after story after story in all types of media. They need to be careful though — their parent network, ABC, could be pushing this show off the rails of the gravy train even faster than they would like.

Another ABC show can provide a cautionary tale that Barbara Corcoran, Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John, and Kevin O’Leary should heed: Who Wants to Be A Millionaire. Over a decade ago, it was the toast of the television world. Regis Philbin, with his assortment of ties, had all of America repeating his trademark phrase, “Is that your final answer?” It was must-watch TV and the first time that someone actually answered the million dollar question was national news.

Then ABC got greedy. It started airing new episodes multiple times a week. People got bored of the program and it eventually fell out of prime-time grace. The very same thing can happen with Shark Tank if the programming honchos aren’t more careful. The show has served as a stalwart stand-in for series that have already ended their seasons or have already been canceled. While there is educational value in a repeat viewing of a Shark Tank episode, there’s no small chance that people might start tuning these lessons out.

The show’s format has served it well, especially with the bringing in of Cuban and Greiner to further humanize the show; still, there’s always a need to shake up thing after a while, since even the most successful formula and get stale after a while. One suggestion might be for the five sharks to make some road trips and visit the entrepreneurs in their element. That way, they could spend an episode in one place and go really in-depth, much like Marcus Lemonis does on The Profit. Imagine Cuban snarking on the work area of an entrepreneur. Even if this shakes up what we loved about the show to begin with, fresh material like this could be what saves the series from going stale.

Just remember… a shark has to keep moving forward, otherwise it will die. The same could be said of this show if ABC keeps this up.