NBC orders more ‘Apprentice’

Celeb reality show gets second season

“The Apprentice” has been given a new lease on life after being written off for dead just a few months ago.

NBC has greenlit a second season of “The Celebrity Apprentice,” which has proved an unexpected success for the Peacock this winter. New installment of the Mark Burnett-Donald Trump collaboration will bow in January 2009.

Renewal marks a major turnaround for the franchise, which appeared to be dead last spring. It took Ben Silverman’s arrival in the Peacock exec suites to get the network to give the franchise another chance.

So far, Silverman’s bet seems to have paid off. Facing strike-weakened competition on the other nets, “Celebrity Apprentice” has averaged a 3.9/10 in adults 18-49. That’s far below the show’s ratings peak of just a few years ago but enough to make renewal a no-brainer.

“This revved-up installment of ‘The Apprentice’ has been a game changer for the series,” NBC reality topper Craig Plestis said. Producers “are already getting calls from high-profile celebrities who want to challenge themselves in season two.”

“The Celebrity Apprentice” is produced by Mark Burnett Prods. in association with Trump Prods.