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‘Apprentice’ returning

Trump card for NBC

A seventh cycle of “The Apprentice” is in the works — and this time, the Donald could be headed to Las Vegas or Miami.

Series star-exec producer Donald Trump told Daily Variety on Monday that NBC execs have ordered another season of his workplace-themed reality skein. Trump is currently in L.A. shooting the sixth cycle of the Mark Burnett-produced skein, which is set to bow in January.

“NBC called me and said they are picking up No. 7,” Trump said. “We may do it in Las Vegas or Miami … We’ll make that decision in the next two months.”

Timing of the pickup — which an NBC spokeswoman would neither confirm nor deny Monday — is a bit of a surprise with the show’s sixth season yet to air. Ratings for “The Apprentice” fell significantly during the most recent season, though the skein remains one of NBC’s top-rated shows, particularly among upscale auds.

Trump, natch, remains positive about “The Apprentice,” noting its finale ranked No. 2 in the weekly ratings earlier this month. He repeated previous statements that the Martha Stewart version of “The Apprentice” hurt the brand.

“It wasn’t very good, and she wasn’t very good,” Trump said. “This is a very important franchise. (NBC) learned their lesson. They’ll never use anyone but Trump.”

Mogul said he’s on board with the idea of “The Apprentice” airing once a year, a la “American Idol.” That would mean the seventh cycle wouldn’t air until 2008.

Multiple cycles per year “is too much to do and it’s too much to watch. Just keep it special,” he said.

Trump also confirmed he’s on board for a TV take on “Monopoly” (Daily Variety, June 7). “It’s in the very, very formative stages,” he said.

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