Six years ago, brash Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban changed the face of reality television forever with The Benefactor, a show in which the multibillionaire gave away $1 million based on contestants’ performance in such important challenges as playing Jenga and making sure they didn’t waste Cuban’s time by taking him to a hospital for sick kids (note: these were actual parts of the show, I am not making them up). Yet The Benefactor was too hot for TV and lasted only six episodes, even though it was the lead-in to Monday Night Football on ABC.
Thankfully, ABC has seen the error of their ways and will give Cuban another chance to prove his sound business decisions on the network. From HollywoodReporter.com (via Vulture):
Entertainment entrepreneur Mark Cuban is joining ABC’s “Shark Tank” for the show’s second season. The owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and chairman of cable channel HDNet will be a guest venture capitalist for three episodes.
The pitch-perfect casting has the always-opinionated Cuban joining the regular panel of self-made multimillionaires judging business ventures pitched by enterprising small-business owners.
“Pitch-perfect” (nice pun!) indeed. I always thought Shark Tank was affiliated with Fear Factor or the Discovery Channel’s late-August programming, but apparently it’s about giving away money. And if there’s one thing Cuban has proven during his time with the Mavs, it’s that he knows how to throw cash around like it’s going out of style (unlike his awesome jersey t-shirts, which will always be popular). This is huge news for any entrepreneurs over 6-8 — just ask DeSagana Diop, who now sleeps on a giant pile of Faberge eggs thanks to Cuban’s generosity.
Cuban’s involvement follows up ABC’s prior announcement that Jeff Foxworthy would also serve as a guest judge on the show. After spending time with Bob Odenkirk on Entourage, Cuban will knock heads with another comedy legend, one who even had his own roast on Comedy Central. That’s certainly a more impressive accomplishment than heading up the greatest sketch comedy of all time. Looks like Mark is moving up in the comedy world. Next stop, Dane Cook!