Shark Tank season 9: Where is Kevin O’Leary? Why he’s missing

Kevin O'LearyDuring Sunday night’s Shark Tank premiere, we do understand you having one very pressing question: Where is Kevin O’Leary? The man otherwise known as Mr. Wonderful has become a staple of the series ever from the beginning, appearing almost anywhere and everywhere the show is.

Unfortunately, you’re not going to be seeing him throughout all of season 9 for a very specific (and very political) reason: He was busy running for Conservative Party leadership in Canada. O’Leary told CarterMatt and other publications at the recent season 9 premiere event in Beverly Hills that he is going to be a part of a chunk of the season due to his campaign, which ended earlier this year with him choosing to drop out. Had he continued that campaign onward, it’s likely he would have been forced to step away from the show altogether.

For those wondering, you will see O’Leary in the October 8 and the October 15 episodes of the show, but he may be rotated out again for other episodes down the line.

What O’Leary’s absence does enable Shark Tank to do is utilize even more Guest Sharks to share some of their expertise this season, including the likes of Sir Richard Branson, Rohan Oza, Bethenny Frankel, Alex Rodriguez, and Sara Blakely. We’re somewhat torn on the presence of Guest Sharks since we do enjoy seeing the original Sharks so much; nonetheless, it does give you some more insight and perspective while also potentially some new dynamics. (Remember the sparring matches between Mark Cuban and Chris Sacca? We found those to be very much entertaining.)

O’Leary remains one of the most dynamic members of the Shark Tank panel for his tell-it-like-it-is attitude, with him often delivering harsh truths on the Sharks. He’s tough when he needs to be, but some of his investments have reaped rather big rewards. Just late last month, meal-kit company Plated was acquired by Albertson’s in a very lucrative deal, one that O’Leary discussed and celebrated at the premiere event last month. This move allows Plated to have a much broader appeal and have something that one of their chief rivals in Blue Apron does not: A supermarket partner.

We’ll see how Shark Tank fares in its episodes without O’Leary, just as we remain curious in seeing precisely how the ratings perform with the show in its new timeslot Sunday nights at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. (It’ll be airing two episodes tonight starting at 8:00, coming on an hour earlier than usual.)

Disappointed in no Kevin O’Leary tonight?

Be sure to share your thoughts on that matter in the comments! If you want to read something else fun pertaining to Shark Tank, check out our interview with Barbara Corcoran from the premiere event in which she sizes up the other Sharks.

Also, remember to like us on Facebook to get updates on Shark Tank and many other shows that we cover. (Photo: ABC.)

Love TV? Be sure to like Matt & Jess on Facebook for more updates!