What’s Worth Watching: It’s All Business Beyond the Tank

Beyond The Tank
John Medland/ABC
Beyond The Tank

Beyond the Tank, “Episode 101” (Friday, May 1, 9/8c, ABC)

The deep-pocketed sharks, who make such entertaining chum of the small-business hopefuls pitching their products on Shark Tank, wouldn’t be such masters of their universe if they didn’t know how to follow through. In a natural extension of the hit Friday-night reality franchise, ABC offers up a three-week look Beyond the Tank, a spinoff that might as well be titled Return on Investment, as the sharks meet up with some of the more memorable entrepreneurs on whom they’ve staked their money, and reputation. (Also included: a few contestants who didn’t pass muster in the “tank,” but didn’t let that setback deter them.)

While not quite as riveting or suspenseful as the Shark Tank pitches, these vignettes offer plenty of cogent business and life lessons, as we watch seasoned moguls like Robert Herjavec (whose current stint on Dancing With the Stars underscores his fondness for risk-taking) practice hands-on management. Herjavec is shown guiding the young visionaries behind the funky Tipsy Elves novelty-sweater clothing line as they plan to expand their brand. “Indecision’s gonna kill you,” he advises one of the co-founders, who hasn’t yet quit his day job as an endodontist. The stakes are even higher when fellow shark Daymond John travels to an Ohio barbecue joint, where a former NFL star has spent a year trying to figure out how to meet the production demands for his deboned baby-back-ribs concept. No one said swimming with sharks would be without obstacles.