Donald Trump is returning to NBC, in a way.
The presidential hopeful and former host of “Celebrity Apprentice” is one of the guests for the fall premiere week for “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” He will appear on the Sept. 11 episode to discuss his campaign and other issues. That episode will also feature “Empire” star Terrence Howard and musical guest Pharrell Williams.
The return of Trump to “The Tonight Show” — after a bitter public split between Trump and NBC in July — comes on the same week that Stephen Colbert takes over CBS’ “The Late Show.” It’s no surprise NBC would amp up Fallon’s guest list in the face of a new competitor.
Trump’s appearance will no doubt be heavily promoted during NBC’s coverage of the NFL’s opening game on Sept. 10 when the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots — a matchup that’s expected to draw more than 25 million viewers. It will also allow Trump some added coverage before the next GOP presidential debate, which airs Sept. 16 on CNN.
The week’s guests open with Richard Gere, Jessica Simpson and Keith Urban on Sept. 8 and then bring the return of “Tonight Show” favorite Justin Timberlake (in addition to Ellen DeGeneres and musical guests Macklemore & Ryan Lewis) on Sept. 9. On Sept. 10, Fallon will feature Emmy host Andy Samberg and Carrie Underwood, who will also perform.
Trump’s appearance on “Tonight Show” will go up against Amy Schumer and Stephen King on Colbert’s Sept. 11 episode.
Trump’s relationship with NBC on “Celebrity Apprentice” was put on ice by mutual agreement earlier this year when he decided to run for the GOP presidential nomination. But in June, NBC publicly broke off another business relationship with Trump on the Miss USA/Miss Universe beauty pageant, after Trump made disparaging remarks about Mexican immigrants as he launched his presidential bid.
Rick Kissell contributed to this report.