Money Court, a primetime series hosted by Kevin O’Leary, began on CNBC Wednesday, Aug. 11, in primetime. O’Leary is best known as tough-love entrepreneur Mr. Wonderful on Shark Tank. On Money Court, he’s essentially the judge, presiding over financial disputes between partners.
O’Leary, who spoke at length about Money Court and Shark Tank on the B+C/Multichannel News podcast Series Business, said cases on the program will be instantly relatable to viewers. “Everybody sees themselves in these cases. They have this story somewhere in their background,” he said. “These are not unique. People fight about money all the time in America.”
The litigants on Money Court include business partners, husbands and wives, and siblings. Trial attorney Katie Phang and former judge Ada Pozo help O’Leary come to his verdict.
“This is not my first rodeo on television,” O’Leary said. “You really want to cast it right. We went through dozens of different combinations to get the right mix with Katie and Ada. You just know when you’re testing, when it clicks.”
Managing what he called a “huge portfolio of private investments,” O’Leary called Money Court “an extension of what I do every day.”
Partner tension has been around as long as partners have been around, but disputes have become more common in the COVID era, he said, with the economy in turmoil, businesses transforming on the fly and partners often unable to meet face to face. “The pandemic has created a logjam of cases that are not getting to court,” he said. “So arbitration is the only solution.”
The six-episode series is produced by Anvil 1893 Entertainment, with O’Leary, Eric Schotz and Myeshia Muzuno executive producing along with Luke Bauer of CNBC.
A new season of Shark Tank starts on ABC Friday, Oct. 8.
O’Leary said greed is typically at the heart of financial disputes. “You’ll see it on Money Court, mothers suing daughters, siblings suing each other,” he said. “It makes for really remarkable TV.”
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.
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