WASHINGTON, January 4, 2013 —Watching small business owners pitch their ideas to corporate giants may not sound like entertaining TV, but Shark Tank has taken this concept and made it a Friday night favorite with viewers. The premise of the show is simple enough: it’s basically an America’s Got Talent for budding entrepreneurs.
Contestants pitch their ideas to a panel of five investors who listen, ask questions, and then decide whether or not to provide funds to expand their businesses. Just like other reality shows, the panel of experts include the blunt, the kind, and the beautiful. The questions they ask range from insightful to ridiculous, and may humiliate, encourage, or validate the contestants and their ideas.
The entertainment value is in the interaction between the contestants and the investors. This give and take that reveals the basic nature of the contestants and their judges is what makes the show compelling. In addition, there are lessons to be learned by watching the show. Lurking within the contrived drama and exaggerated personalities, there’s a lot of practical business knowledge available for the taking. All of these elements mesh well for Shark Tank, and make it one reality show actually worth watching.
All times are EST
ABC: Last Man Standing: (New) Eve is suspended for name-calling; after Ryan gets a job, he buys a motorcycle.
CBS: Undercover Boss: (New) Lorne Abony, CEO and Chairman of Mood Media, a leading in-store media specialist that uses a mix of music, visual and scent media to help its clients communicate with consumers, faces his fear of heights when he has to climb a tall ladder to install equipment during his undercover mission.
FOX: Cotton Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M
NBC: Go On: (Repeat) Grieving causes Ryan to become a compulsive eater, triggering an intervention from the group.
CW: Nikita: (Repeat) Division discovers one of their rogue agents, Markov (guest star Jonathan Goad), who has been undercover for six years, has been elected President of Uzbekistan and is planning to kill the President of the United States (guest star Michelle Nolden).
ABC: Malibu Country: (New) Reba tries to get June’s school to revive its music program; Cash earns a bad boy persona when he stands up to the most popular boy in school; Lillie fights to keep her local pot dispensary open.
NBC: Go On: (Repeat) The group celebrates Ryan’s birthday with a scavenger hunt. Elsewhere, Sonia cares for Steven following his colonoscopy, and Mr. K and Anne connect over their love of musicals.
ABC: Shark Tank: (New) Mark and Lori offer an entrepreneur $1 million; enclosed tabletop food screen; a beer and arcade game cabinet; peel-off face paint transfer; hair care products for children; update on Squirrel Nut Butter.
CBS: CSI: NY: (New) The CSIs are confronted with a puzzling mystery when two different victims are linked by the same unusual weapon.
NBC: Dateline NBC: (New) Keith Morrison is on-location in Wendover, Nevada where the murder of a popular teenager shakes the community to its core.
CW: Arrow: (Repeat) Pilot: After a violent shipwreck, billionaire playboy Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) was missing and presumed dead for five years before being discovered alive on a remote island in the Pacific.
ABC: 20/20: (New) People magazine profiles readers who have lost half their body weight; long-term weight loss secrets; overweight friends of svelte celebrities; weight loss marketing scam; reality-TV star Ruby Gettinger.
CBS: Blue Bloods: (New) When two motorists driving gas-guzzling cars die at the hands of a sniper, Danny and Kate are put on the case of what the city believes is the work of a radical environmental serial killer.
New episodes of:
Gold Rush at 8 and 9 p.m. on DSC
Ghost Adventures at 9 p.m. on Travel Channel
Say Yes to the Dress at 9 and 9:30 p.m. on TLC
Bering Sea Gold at 10 p.m. on DSC
Mystery Diners at 10 p.m. on Food Channel
Portlandia at 10 and 10:30 p.m. on IFC
The Dead Files at 10 p.m. on Travel Channel
For movie lovers:
Enter the Dragon on AMC
Sleepless in Seattle on BRAVO
Straw Dogs on ENC
Cocktail on FLIX
Law Abiding Citizen on TNT
Unknown on HBO
Green Lantern on HBO
Wanderlust on MOMAX
Failure to Launch on TBS
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