Robert Herjavec keeps welcoming new ideas on ‘Shark Tank’

ABC reality hit is back in its Friday berth

Robert Herjavec

Robert Herjavec is happy that “Shark Tank” has returned to Fridays, but he’d be glad to keep being a Shark anyway.

A multiple Emmy Award winner, the ABC series that lets a wide cross-section of inventors present their ideas to business experts and would-be investors is in its 11th season, and Herjavec still enjoys being part of the process enabling clever and lucky innovators to bring their products or services to market. The regular judging panel also continues to include Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Daymond John, Barbara Corcoran and Kevin O’Leary.

The founder of the technology-driven Herjavec Group, dealing largely in cybersecurity, the pleasant Herjavec maintains that he always envisioned “Shark Tank” as a success. “Kevin and I started the show in Canada (as ‘Dragons’ Den’), and it was a big hit,” he explains, “but there’s only one ‘Shark Tank.’ Once you have a success, everybody wants to copy it, but Clay (executive producer Newbill) didn’t think of that. He just cast us, and it all worked. It’s magic.”

It’s not exactly magic, though, that each year brings a new crop of hopefuls wanting to sell Herjavec and his “Shark Tank” peers on their creations. Any successful reality show continually perpetuates the crowd that wants to be on it, a fact Herjavec is quite grateful for. (So is CNBC, which has become an additional home for “Shark Tank” repeats.)

“Every season when we show up,” Herjavec reflects, “we think, ‘Oh, it’s going to be the same old stuff’ … but we end up seeing things we’ve never seen before. And when we have guest Sharks, it changes the dynamic and the energy. That’s nice.”

Birthdate: Sept. 14, 1962

Birthplace: Varazdin, Croatia

Current residences: Los Angeles and Toronto, Ont.

Family info: Married to Kym Johnson Herjavec, who was his partner on “Dancing With the Stars”; they have twin children, a boy and a girl; he also has two daughters and a son from a previous marriage

Other television work includes: “Dancing With the Stars,” “Family Guy” (voice only), “Dr. Ken,” “Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens,” “Jay Leno’s Garage,” “Jeopardy!,” “Small Business Revolution: Main Street,” “Beyond the Tank,” “Hero Dog Awards,” “The World Dog Awards,” “American Music Awards,” “The Neighbors,” “Dragons’ Den”

Books he’s written include: “Driven,” “The Will to Win,” “You Don’t Have to Be a Shark”

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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