Shark Tank is wildly popular, so naturally it was only a matter of time until the spin off version arrived. Well, that shark is set to swim soon. The network is expected to announce, as soon as Today, that it would add a companion show to the hit series about successful businesspeople, called “sharks,” competing to invest in the businesses of aspiring entrepreneurs. The new show, “Beyond the Tank,” will trace the next stage of a start-up in which its product tries to find its way to market — and either succeeds or flops.
Like “Shark Tank,” “Beyond the Tank” will be produced by Sony Pictures Television. On Thursday, the deal with ABC was in the final stages, one executive involved in it said. No date has been set for the new show’s debut, but it will most likely make it onto ABC’s schedule sometime in the coming television season.
“Beyond the Tank” has Mark Burnett, the most successful reality TV producer of the last decade, as an executive producer. His company, One Three Media, will co-produce it with Sony.
“This show is exactly what ‘Shark Tank’ fans have been asking: Tell me what happens when they walk out of the tank,” Mr. Burnett said in an email.
Zack Van Amburg, president of programming for Sony, said he could not comment yet on the new series because a deal had not been completed. But he noted that the original “Shark Tank” would celebrate its 100th episode on Friday. He also cited the popularity of the show, which averaged 7.2 million viewers last season and generally topped all shows on Fridays among viewers preferred by many advertisers — those between 18 and 49.
The “Shark Tank” format, which originated in Japan, where it was called “Dragon’s Den,” has become popular around the world. Versions have appeared in countries ranging from Germany to Saudi Arabia. “Shark Tank” repeats are by far the most successful program on the cable network CNBC, where they average 490,000 viewers.
All this for a show that, Mr. Van Amburg said, was repeatedly turned down when Sony tried to sell it years ago, even by ABC — three times — before the network stepped up and bought it.
As for the format of “Beyond the Tank,” Mr. Van Amburg said he could not offer any details. But the executive involved in the deal said the new show would definitely include the participation of the business leaders who play the role of the sharks on the original.
We love us some good Shark Tank. We just hope Beyond the Tank, doesn’t jump the shark…