Under the pickup scenario, Peacock will air the original flavor “Apprentice” in the fall, with a third edition of “Celebrity Apprentice” to follow in the winter.
“So many people have been asking us when are we bringing the original show back,” Trump told Daily Variety. “I’m not sure I had that interest two-and-a-half or three years ago. But the concept of what has happened with the economy has really stoked interest.”
Peacock has aired “Celebrity Apprentice” over the past two years, while the original, civilian “Apprentice” hasn’t been seen on the air since 2007 — just prior to the nation’s economic downturn.
The new “Apprentice” will mostly stick to the original format — entrepreneurs from various walks of life, living together and forming groups to compete in various challenges. At the end, as always, Trump will be there to fire that week’s weakest link.
And at the end of the show, the ultimate “Apprentice” will be given a gig inside the Trump Organization.
But in the biggest switch from the original, fired contestants won’t immediately be shuttled off to a waiting cab. Instead, Trump promised to give a bit of career coaching to fired players.
“We’ve got to do something about the economy and this is a terrific way to provide jobs as well as business lessons along the way,” Trump said. “NBC, Mark Burnett and I hope this economic downturn can begin a turnaround, and we’ll do our best with ‘The Apprentice’ to see that it starts happening.”
Casting has begun on the new “Apprentice,” which will be shot in June and July. Unlike the two-hour “Celebrity Apprentice,” the original “Apprentice” will stick to its one-hour format. Show also won’t be running on Sunday nights, as NBC has “Sunday Night Football” on tap in the fall.
Decision to bring back “The Apprentice” also comes as rival CBS posts strong numbers for its new “Undercover Boss” franchise.
Mark Burnett Prods. and Trump Prods. are behind “The Apprentice.” Burnett, Trump, Page Feldman and Eden Gaha are exec producers.