Staten Island Hustle (CNBC)


Staten Island Hustle (CNBC) – Premieres 11th April

Going in a completely different direction to fellow CNBC show Cleveland Hustles, this follows five Staten Island based businessmen and friends as they try to develop new products in the bid to make themselves rich.

It starts off with the group meeting up at their favourite restaurant where they initially talk about what they are currently working on, and if it’s of interest to the rest of the group as a business idea. After some toing and froing they then settle on a product that they believe hasn’t been done before and set about putting their idea into action.

The programme then follows the group as they research the product, work out the costs and possible profit margins and outsource the production of a prototype. After the prototype is made, the group then tests out the product at a relevant company to find out if it is something they’d use. And then when they get the thumbs up, start to tout the item about to get some pre-orders, where they adapt their business model to the feedback they receive.

Along with the main business idea the group are working on, it also drops in some bits where members of the group have their own investments they are working on, as they try to get those products off the ground.

The show feels like a mix between a shoddy reality series and a business programme, and while the main idea the group are working on is interesting it’s still not that watchable.



Sell It Like Serhant (Bravo)


Sell It Like Serhant (Bravo) – Premieres 11th April

Hosted by Million Dollar Listing: New York estate agent Ryan Serhant as he heads off to help a struggling salesperson improve their skills, as they’ve been given the ultimatum to improve or be sacked by their boss.

Like in Kitchen Nightmares, this has Ryan initially visiting the sales person and watching them go about their usual sales technique. After witnessing them in action, Ryan then breaks down what they are doing wrong and then goes about giving them tips on how to improve as well as giving the tasks to do to help them with their job.

After the training is complete Ryan watches the salesperson try and meet the quota set by their boss for them to keep their job, occasionally jumping in when they start to flounder and revert to their old ways. Then at the end of the day they meet up with the boss to find out if they’ve done enough to keep their role.

The show is like a Kitchen Nightmares take on Relative Success with Tabitha, and while it’s not the greatest of programmes it’s an easy bit of viewing.


Back In The Game (CNBC)


Back In The Game (CNBC) – Premieres 13th March

A reality show where former baseball player and PED enthusiast Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez gives former professional sportsman financial guidance.

In the programme Rodriguez meets up with a former player who has gone through all the money they earned during their career, and the goes about helping them become debt free helps and increase their current earnings.

Along with going through the processes of showing the former player their current expenses and how to rebudget. The show also gives a breakdown of how a players career earnings are broken down and the amount that is given in taxes and agent fees. And also how certain investments like buying homes outright during their career helped them get through the cash faster than expected.

After going through the new plan Rodriguez leaves the player for a few weeks, then returns to see how they are doing and to give them a few more pointers. Then by the end of the show the player is then on the way to paying off their debts and getting their new post sports career on track.

The programme itself is a standard financial help show. And even though it has some interesting angles showing how sportsman post career can shape up, Rodriguez himself seems like he doesn’t want to be there and it does feel a bit dragged out for a 45 minute show.


Buyers Bootcamp with Scott McGillivray (DIY Network)


Buyers Bootcamp with Scott McGillivray (DIY Network) – Premieres 3rd March

Property development programme with an investment twist, this has Scott McGillivray visit two developments, where the folks behind it need some assistance in making sure they can create a property that will get them the optimum return.

As Scott is shown around each offer he finds out the reasoning to why they need his help, along with him discovering the profit margin available if he invests and assessing whether the time to commit to the project would be worthwhile.

After selecting the project he wants to team up with, Scott invests his cash then helps the development along by showing the owners what to look out for during a renovation, and to gives tips on how to plan the property to get the optimum returns. During the redevelopment there are the usual property show hitches that happen which could end up adding to the outlay. Then when they are resolved the property is finished and sold, leaving everyone happy and a few quid richer.

For a renovation programme the addition of McGillivay investing in the project does give it an additional Dragons Den/Shark Tank/The Deed type vibe. Though that said The Deed does the same type of premise in a more interesting way.


Dirty Money (Netflix)


Dirty Money (Netflix) – Premieres 26th January

A series from famed documentarian Alex Gibney, where he looks into the scandals of certain big business. Showing how they acted illegally and how the corruption was discovered, along with levels of deception the people in charge went to to try and keep everything under wraps.

The programme beings with giving a brief outline of the scandals that’s being looked in to. Then through interviewing former workers and the people that discovered the corruption, starts to go through how the deception began and manifested itself through the organisation.

The programme also shows some of the deposition footage and reveals how the deceptions not only stayed within the company, but was wider spread then initially thought, and reveals some of the intricate ways they tried to con the system.

As documentaries go this is in depth and keeps your interest throughout. It’s well worth a watch.


Relative Success with Tabitha (Bravo)


Relative Success with Tabitha (Bravo) – Premieres 17th January 

A business reality show where Tabatha Coffey meets up with the owner of a family business that finds itself at a crossroad, and who has reached out for help to solve a problem where the family members that have conflicting visions for the business.

After meeting with the owner and finding out exactly what the current situation is, Tabitha meets up with the other family members involved in the running of the business to assess what they perceive as the main problems and how their vision differs from the owners.

From there Tabitha looks into both sides of the proposals given, and sets tasks to both sides to organise their plans for the company and how they would be achieved, along with producing the visuals and content to show it would be viable. Then when both sides have been looked into Tabitha puts forward what she feels would be the correct course of action, leaving it up to the owner to make the final decision. And then gives a three months later highlight of how the business was going.

The show feels vaguely similar in places to shows like Kitchen Nightmares, Garage Rehab & Help My Yelp where there is a problem with the business needing to be solved. But unlike those shows this is decidedly more hands off and is more consultancy in it’s approach, and in the end can get pretty bland.


Rooster & Butch (A&E)


Rooster & Butch (A&E) – Premieres 10th January

Similar to their old show on CNBC West Texas Investors Club, this has Mike “Rooster McConaughey and Wayne “Butch” Gilliam, two self made millionaires, looking for new products to invest in.

Along with their buddy Gil, they put the inventors of a selected product through three stages before deciding whether they want to put their money into the company. The first stage is “The People” where after they arrive into town Rooster and Butch put the though an initial challenge of getting where they need to be. Then when they get there, are grilled about the origins of their product and how the company was started by them and the potential testers of the product.

The second stage is “The Product” where they go to an extreme end of testing the product with the testers, and generally have a lovely old time messing about. All this leads to the final stage “The Business”, where Rooster and Butch grill the investors about how their company has performed, profit margins and other business shenanigans. After all of this is wrapped up the pair make a decision on whether to invest, and if they do, haggle with the inventors for the best deal.

For a show that is from the same genre as Dragons Den/Shark Tank this is probably as far from the aforementioned as you could possibly get. With the pair putting the people through some irrelevant challenges, and putting more focus on the product while keeping the usual serious business vibe at bay, it all it’s an easy bit of viewing.