“Shark Tank” takes a bite out of the competition

America’s appetite for watching millionaires bid on inventions is apparently bigger than anticipated, because ABC’s Shark Tank won its time slot last week by drawing more than 6 million viewers.

Not only did it take top honors for the 8-9pm ET slot, but it delivered the program’s highest ratings ever and bested or matched its peak marks among key gender and age demographics.

Those familiar with Shark Tank most likely aren’t surprised that it is finally catching on. There is something cool about watching the transaction between budding entrepreneurs and established business owners.

For those unfamiliar with it, inventors get the opportunity to pitch their idea to investors Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Kevin O’Leary, Robert Herjavec and Daymond John. If the sharks like the idea, it can lead to a bidding war; if they don’t, the person leaves with no financial partners.

In last week’s season premiere, Cuban invested $60,000 in exchange for an 8 percent stake of entrepreneur Dave Mayer’s unique water bottle that can be unscrewed at the top and the bottom. Also, Alashe Nelson struck a deal with Cuban and John for $150,000 and 45 percent of his VIP nightclub idea.

In Friday’s episode, a Chicago dad sells his unusual original cat drawings online; a Connecticut man promotes an education system to improve one’s sales skills; a professional magician presents his plan to bring his unique family-friendly brand of entertainment to Las Vegas; and a husband and father introduces his innovative cargo truck management system made in the U.S.

Regardless of whether the sharks bite or not, this show has shown that it is unique enough to draw an impressive Friday night audience. And it’s only a matter of time before more people catch on.