Shark Tank

Common Sense Media says

Money-driven reality show will intrigue the business minded.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Money and greed are the driving forces behind the series. The Sharks aren't shy about saying they love money -- and making lots of it -- and the contestants are eager to make their share as well. On the plus side, the show does highlight the amount of work that goes into getting a business off the ground.

Positive role models

The Sharks are self-made entrepreneurs who offer expertise and advice to those who want to start a successful business. The panel isn't particularly diverse.

Not applicable

At least one pitch incorporates women in suggestive outfits as a way to motivate investors. Another pitcher talks about having “boob” jobs.


Words like “hell” and "damn" are occasionally audible. Insults like “pig” and “stupid” are sometimes used.


All of the entrepreneurs have a product or idea to sell, but they need investments to make them reality. The show is steeped in the idea of profits, capitalism, etc.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this adaptation of the British show Dragons' Den -- in which contestants pitch business proposals to five extremely successful entrepreneurs in hopes of convincing them to invest -- is steeped in themes of capitalism, money, and greed. Although the language is relatively mild ("hell," "damn"), some of the business "Sharks" use insults like "pig" and "stupid" when offering their sound-but-sometimes-harsh business advice. Kids probably won't tune in, but if they do, make sure they understand the context of these exchanges.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In SHARK TANK (a U.S. remake of the overseas hit Dragons' Den) hopeful entrepreneurs get three minutes to convince “The Sharks” -- software publisher Kevin O’Leary, Internet mogul Robert Herjavic, infomercial expert Kevin Harrington, real estate investor Barbara Corcoran, and Fubu Sportswear founder Daymond John -- to help turn their idea into a lucrative business. After listening to the entrpreneurs' pitches, which range from starting a wholesale sweet potato pie business to selling surgically implanted wireless phone jacks, each Shark must decide whether they're going to opt-in, how much cash they're willing to invest, and the number of shares they'll hold. If the proposal is particularly desirable, the Sharks battle it out with each other to get the biggest bite of the new company.

Is it any good?


Money is the driving force behind this series, and the Sharks openly share their love for making lots of it. Meanwhile, many of the contestants come off as desperate as they look to the self-made millionaires for the cash to help them get their businesses off the ground. Any compassion the Sharks might feel for the person or their situation doesn’t keep them from offering some sharp -- albeit honest -- criticism. It also doesn’t seem to stop them from throwing some stinging insults the entrepreneurs' way.

The show doesn’t always send the best messages, but it does have some things to offer. While the Sharks aren’t always friendly, they give contestants sound advice on how to make their businesses successful -- and when it's time to walk away. And their reactions to some contestants’ half-baked ideas can lead to amusing moments. Meanwhile, the suspense builds as each side decides whether to accept or reject each other’s offer. Shark Tank may not be for everyone, but business-savvy viewers are likely to find it quite entertaining.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the work that goes into getting a business off the ground. Is it possible to succeed without having people invest in your service or product?

  • Do you have any business ideas of your own? What kind of research and planning would you have to do to get it off the ground? If you were to pitch your idea to the Sharks, what would you say? Could you handle the criticism?

  • How hard is it to regroup if your plans fail? How do people turn negative circumstances into possibilities?

TV details

Cast:Kevin Harrington, Robert Herjavec, Barbara Corcoran
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG

This review of Shark Tank was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written bySoccer boy November 4, 2009

Fun to watch!

Cool show! I watch it every Tuesday.
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 13 years old Written bysnowytears August 25, 2009
I have never seen anything bad on this show, I think it's an interesting show.
Kid, 12 years old April 24, 2015

Good show for future entrepreneurs

Good show for mature children/teens who want to learn about buiness. Some of the feedback that a "shark" will give may go over childrens heads. Good show that goes a step further than the lemonade stand. Truly captures the american dream.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism


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