After a season with just one guest shark, Shark Tank is expanding its roster of guest sharks to the most it’s ever had: five in one season. Four of the new guest stars have previous reality TV experience.
All six regular sharks are also returning, but Chris Sacca, who appeared in seasons seven and—in an expanded but obviously not permanent role—season eight, is not returning.
The five guest sharks are:
- Bethenny Frankel, CEO of Skinnygirl and Real Housewives of New York City star.
- Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin and the star of the 2004 Fox reality competition The Rebel Billionaire: Branson’s Quest for the Best.
- Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx and a judge on ABC’s Shark Tank precursor, American Inventor.
- Rohan Oza, a venture capitalist and marketer who ABC calls “a master of transforming groundbreaking consumer products into household names”; those products include Vitaminwater parent company Glaceau and Bai.
- Alex Rodriguez, a former MLB player and performance-enhancing drug user who’s now the CEO of AROD, which ABC describes as “a multi-faceted business conglomeration boasting coast to coast with an auto dealership group, international and domestic fitness clubs, and a fully integrated real estate empire.”
The guest sharks who will appear in season nine, which starts filming its first pod this summer, will not appear together, but will be swapped in for one of the regular sharks. The show still works, but I’m glad it’s willing to experiment and keep things fresh with new faces, personalities, and priorities, even if the guest doesn’t work out, which sometimes happens.
Also, I hope the producers swap out Kevin O’Leary a few times, because his shtick is getting tired.