Tuesday, May 16, 2006

NBC to air only one Apprentice TV Show edition next season

There will only be one cycle of "The Apprentice" on NBC's airwaves next season, and that's cool with star Donald Trump.
"It was always going to be one event, like 'American Idol,'" Trump said yesterday, after NBC programmers revealed the reality show won't be back until January. "But because it became so successful, we had it on twice."
Now, after seeing ratings for the show decline this season, NBC will air just one version, shot in Los Angeles. It will start in January and play out until the spring.
"If you think about it," Trump said, "including the Martha [Stewart] fiasco, we had three seasons of 'The Apprentice' this year."
Cutting back to just one is the same strategy ABC used to try to revive "The Bachelor" this season, after viewers grew weary of multiple editions each year. NBC officials and Trump agree that adding the Stewart version earlier this season diluted the franchise and confused viewers.
"'The Apprentice' is one of the most successful shows on our air," said NBC Entertainment president Kevin Reilly yesterday. "It just settled in from being a phenomenon to being a success."
It also remains a big show with upscale viewers.
For next season, Trump and the show's executive producer, Mark Burnett, plan to shake up the format a bit. Trump, his wife, Melania, and new son Barron will soon move to Los Angeles for the five-week production schedule of cycle No. 6 of "The Apprentice."
To accommodate the Los Angeles production, the June 5 finale of the current New York-shot "Apprentice" will emanate from the West Coast, Trump said yesterday.
For cycle No. 7, Trump said yesterday that they're considering Miami, Las Vegas and Chicago.
The billionaire is signed up to appear on the show through its seventh run. He said yesterday that it was too early to begin talking beyond that, but Reilly said it was unlikely the show would continue without him.
"At this point, it's really clear they're inseparable," Reilly said. "He does have a special brand of credibility and color to be able to do it."


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