‘Shark Tank:’ Mark Cuban Gives Fans a Glimpse of Some Changes for Season 12: ‘Deals Have Been Crazy’

Fans of ABC’s hit reality show Shark Tank are thrilled to hear that season 12 is in production. Returning to the set amid the coronavirus crisis, the panel is undergoing some modifications in order to follow current guidelines.

Billionaire shark Mark Cuban took to Instagram to show viewers what to expect, and his fellow sharks are commenting on contestants that are “remarkably different” this season.

Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, and Kevin O'Leary of 'Shark Tank'
Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, and Kevin O’Leary of ‘Shark Tank’ | Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images

ABC reality show remains a hit

Now in its 12th season, Shark Tank is still going strong. With the chemistry of the main panelists – Barbara Corcoran, Cuban, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John, and Kevin “Mr. Wonderful” O’Leary – the reality show has made a positive impact on the American workforce.

“In the beginning, I don’t think Sony, ABC, or MGM could have ever anticipated what this platform has become,” O’Leary said, according to Deadline. “It’s an entertaining show, but it creates jobs in America.”

Mr. Wonderful also noted the vast difference between getting an investment from a shark rather than a typical finance outlet.

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“We grow franchises based on this platform,” the Shark Tank star explained. “We put money into the hands of young entrepreneurs that use the platform that no venture capital company can ever do.”

‘Shark Tank’ panelist notes a new level of necessity

With the monumental blow COVID-19 has brought to today’s economy and small business owners, Corcoran recognizes the effects in this season’s contestants.

“The people we’re seeing now are remarkably different. They have more at stake,” the real estate mogul remarked. “They’re mostly the people who have the least amount of hope and feel their situation is never going to change and that’s what’s so very sad about it.”

Corcoran easily relates to aspiring entrepreneurs. Starting her real estate empire with $1,000 loan then selling it for $66 million in 2001, the Shark Tank panelist earned her way to the top through unrelenting hard work.

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“Every day I sit on that Shark Tank set, I sit there not as who I am now with a great life I lived, but sit there [as a 23 year old] — as a waitress with nobody giving me a break,” Corcoran shared. “I was going to be a good waitress — the best waitress — until somebody came in and loaned me $1000. I never sit in that seat where I don’t see that person, look at them and say they’re me.”

Mark Cuban posts from the ‘Shark Tank’ set

With many businesses shutting down due to COVID-19, John noted how many of the younger contestants are turning their parents’ hardships into motivation to launch something of their own.

“A lot of these kids who are now 15 or 20, they saw their parents lose their homes to bad banking and they said I’m no longer gonna do that,” the FUBU founder said. “I’m gonna empower myself, and I’m gonna empower my parents. …They wanna be in charge in their own destiny. … I’m learning from them and I love taking that ride with them.”

With Shark Tank back in production, Cuban decided to give fans a preview of season 12 with an Instagram video.

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“We’re back for Shark Tank! A little social distancing… a little different, but it’s gonna be good,” Cuban emphasized as he panned to his fellow sharks John, O’Leary, and Greiner at the required six feet apart. “Deals have been crazy. Crazy times, but we gotta set an example. We’re back!”

The season 12 premiere date of Shark Tank has not yet been released.