‘The Apprentice’ Is Responsible for Donald Trump’s Success in Presidential Race, NBC Exec Says

Donald Trump Celebrity Apprentice
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According to NBC’s head of reality television, Donald Trump’s political success can be traced back to “The Apprentice.”

When asked on Tuesday if Trump would have become the Republican party’s presumptive presidential nominee had it not been for “The Apprentice,” Paul Telegdy, NBC’s president of alternative and late night programming, said: “Of course not.”

Speaking at a lunch for the Hollywood Radio and Television Society (HRTS) at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif., Telegdy — who spoke alongside panelists Charlie Corwin of Endemol Shine, Mike Darnell of Warner Bros., FremantleMedia North America’s Trish Kinane and WME’s Sean Perry — admitted that NBC staffers who worked with Trump on “Apprentice” are taken aback by the former reality star-turned-politician’s place in the race.

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“We’re so wrapped up in what’s been going on the last few months, as you can imagine,” Telegdy said, prodded to speak about Trump by Michael Schneider, IndieWire’s executive editor and Variety’s editor-at-large. “It’s all very, very peculiar. The guy is walking around getting a load of votes.”

Trump became host of “The Apprentice” and “Celebrity Apprentice” after years as a successful business mogul, but the show earned him widespread exposure and even a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (which has been vandalized during campaign season).

“What’s going on demonstrates, if nothing else, the enormous amount of responsibility that goes with the job of putting out the version of someone that we do in a TV show,” Telegdy said, calling “The Apprentice” a “master” that “created a phenomenon television personality.”

Telegdy added, “I think his persona seems to be in lockstep with his persona on the show… I don’t think where Donald is in this campaign is any surprise to anyone who was close to him.”

During the panel conversation, the British exec couldn’t help but offer his own opinion: “It’s your country,” he cracked. “I’ve got somewhere else I can go!”

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  1. will says:

    Mr. Telegdy, don’t flatter yourself. Far more people have voted for Trump than ever watched “The Apprentice.” And besides, he was a national figure decades before the show premiered.

  2. Greg Marotta says:

    This entire “show” of a candidacy has been scripted from day one by Mark Burnett and Roger Ailes, right down to inserting Megyn Kelly as Trump’s MacGuffin. If TV can make the masses believe that Teresa Giudice is indeed literate why not Trump as presidential they reasoned.

  3. BriteBlonde1 says:

    Based on Ted’s theory, we can look forward to Senator Kardashian? Or Representative Mama June? Or those bearded Duck Dynasty boys running for office? Uh huh.

  4. Observer says:

    He thinks he’s sly with this:
    “What’s going on demonstrates, if nothing else, the enormous amount of responsibility that goes with the job of putting out the version of someone that we do in a TV show,”

    Sweetheart, you didn’t ‘create’ Trump so sit down, you’re embarrassing your stunted self.
    He’s was that way long before apprentice pond hopper. And yea, the once Great Britain is such a great place these days? Puhleez.

    The takers, always wanting to take from others weather their money, dignity or….persona?
    And yea, you have somewhere else to go…Great Britainastan. Enjoy your extremists ruining your country.

  5. Bob says:

    Why is this news? OF COURSE, the Orange Bully became a star with “The Apprentice.” That’s why he’s been so popular on the election circuit. He spices up the otherwise borrrrrrrring process of speeches and debates, that’s why his numbers are so high. Insert “Trump” with, say, “Beyoncé” or “Depp” or [ the celebrity of your choice] here. He’s ENTERTAINMENT not a serious candidate. While he may be the choice of some Neanderthals and every KKK member, he probably never will be president but what fun it is to listen to his crazy rants and promises.

  6. cadavra says:

    Apparently you’ve confused the Clintons with Reagan and the two Bushes, who were up to their asses in foreign money and arms deals. But so much easier to cling to the delusion, eh?

  7. Raymond Collier says:

    I’m not surprised that N.B.C is not going around claiming that they were responsible for Donald Trump’s birth. And people think that Donald Trump is too self-absorbed???? (shaking my head (facepalm)

  8. How come Variety doesn’t go into the connection between NBC and the White House.NBC is so biased and takes its orders from Obama. Variety should be fair and balanced and report that as well.

    • sammyglick says:

      Seriously — don’t you have comments to make on Breitbart and WND. Partisan cranks…

      • Observer says:

        Sammy, instead of chiding something you’re clueless about yet comment on it anyway. look for the connection between NBC and the White House.
        Start here maybe……
        CBS News President David Rhodes and ABC News President Ben Sherwood, both of them have siblings that not only work at the White House, that not only work for President Obama, but they work at the NSC on foreign policy issues.
        And, there’s more yet, you’re too busy calling ‘others’ partisan cranks.
        Typical for the low info, pretending they know it all and everyone else are….. cranks.
        I hope you don’t make important decisions in your job.

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