WASHINGTON — On Monday, NBC announced that actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger would take over Donald Trump’s role on “Celebrity Apprentice.”
The “Celebrity Apprentice” brand has brought huge ratings to NBC, so officials there wanted to stick with the name in some way. With Schwarzenegger, NBC gets a bonafide action star with instant name recognition and a background in politics, says Brian Stelter, former New York Times reporter and current host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”
“He brings a lot of attributes to the table here, and allows NBC to rejuvenate this franchise,” Stelter told WTOP. “With Schwarzenegger, they at least have an opportunity to reinvigorate the franchise and bring in new viewers.”
In July, the network severed ties with Trump after the Republican presidential candidate said Mexico is sending rapists, drug dealers and criminals to the United States. Also, Spanish-language network Univision said it wouldn’t air the Spanish-language version of the Miss USA Pageant, and Trump filed a lawsuit.
“The Apprentice” has seen better days, Stelter said. The show averages roughly six to seven million viewers.
So when the “Governator” takes over next fall, “Celebrity Apprentice” has a chance to rebrand itself to a totally different show. It now has an international reach given Schwarzenegger’s movie success, Stelter added.
“Celebrity Apprentice” will return to NBC in fall 2016. Perhaps “You’re Fired” will be replaced with “You’re Terminated”?
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