Though Donald Trump quit his hosting duties on The Apprentice, it appears that NBC has other ideas.
The real estate mogul is contracted for a seventh season of the reality show and, despite lackluster ratings and the fact that the reality show is absent from NBC’s 2007-08 schedule, the peacock network is seriously considering bringing the series back for another year. Trump himself confirmed this in an interview with Larry King.
After publicly quitting, no doubt Trump isn’t completely pleased with the news but, as always, he put a very positive spin on it. Taking a break from Rosie-bashing, he said, “Well, NBC wants to do another season, a seventh season of The Apprentice. And, you know, I’ve had so much fun. It became the number one show on television. It’s been terrific.”
He was however quick to assign blame to the peacock network for Apprentice’s decline. In a timely comment, following NBC’s ousting of Entertainment President Kevin Reilly, Trump said, “But, you know, the problem is NBC does have — and I love the guys at NBC, but there’s such turmoil with the management, with the lack of lead-ins. We had a lead-in this year of Grease [You’re the One That I Want]. [Apprentice] was moved to four different slots. They should have just simply left it on Thursday, but they wanted to create a comedy Thursday. So they took The Apprentice, which was really a powerful show, and they put it all over the place. They thought it was easily moved because it’s so successful that it would, you know, easily follow. And despite that, it did very well. It won the evening, as you know, recently on the finale.” Actually, the finale attracted only eight million viewers and was a distant second to the second half of a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie on CBS.
NBC’s option on The Apprentice expires this Friday but it has been extended until June 8th. NBC’s new Co-chair of Entertainment Ben Silverman has a longstanding relationship with Apprentice creator Mark Burnett and Burnett arranged a phone conversation between Trump and the exec over the weekend. Silverman reportedly made sure Trump felt appreciated and wanted and in turn, Burnett and Trump granted the extension until Silverman could figure out if a deal could be made.
Regardless of what happens with The Apprentice, Trump hasn’t changed his plans to do other TV projects. He added humbly, “Well, I’m looking at something else and other networks really want me to do something. But as you know, I’m one of the largest real estate developers in the world and that really is something that I love. So, we’ll see what happens. But a lot of networks want me to do something. I’ll let you know over the next few weeks.” Stay tuned!