On ABC’s Shark Tank, which returns for season 4 tonight at 8 p.m., five “sharks” compete to make deals with small-business-owning contestants. Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Kevin O’Leary, and Robert Herjavec are all ludicrously successful world-beaters who star in a popular television show and invest big sums in weird inventions without hesitation. So why do they often seem so peeved? Maybe it’s because these hyper-competitive investors don’t always get along. “Trust me, there are times when you just want to reach over and punch Kevin or Lori,” says Mark Cuban, who owns the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, among other businesses. “Lori and I go head to head a lot because we’re both so type-a. Barbara too. When the in-fighting starts between sharks, you don’t want to be the one left on the sidelines for some of these deals, so it gets heated. It’s not so much that we’re not friends. We’re cordial. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say that the animosity of losing a deal didn’t carry over off the set.”
In other words, there’s no open invitation for the other sharks to come to Mavs games? “No,” says Cuban with a laugh.
Even so, the sharks do find a way to come together this season. “For the first time ever we all agreed to go in on a deal together,” says Cuban of an upcoming episode. “That was kind of weird. It’ll be interesting, because we all have our little peculiarities and ways to run businesses. It’s going to be interesting to see if we all can work together. That remains to be seen.”
And don’t expect that one deal to bring about a new era of peace and harmony on set. “Other than that,” says Cuban, “there’s a lot more fighting going on. It’s a lot more intense.”