The Celebrity Apprentice

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The Celebrity Apprentice
GenreReality competition
Created byMark Burnett
Theme music composer
Opening theme"For the Love of Money"
Performed by The O'Jays
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons8
No. of episodes90
  • Mark Burnett
  • Donald Trump
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger
Production locationsNew York City, New York (2008–16)
Los Angeles, California (2017)
Running time60 minutes (season 1)
120 minutes (seasons 2-15)
Production companies
Original release
ReleaseJanuary 3, 2008 (2008-01-03) –
February 13, 2017 (2017-02-13)
The Apprentice: Martha Stewart
The Apprentice

The Celebrity Apprentice is an American television reality competition series. It was a variation of The Apprentice series, hosted by real estate developer Donald Trump from 2008 to 2015, and actor and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger from January to August 2017, when it was canceled.[1][2]

Like its precursor, the show's opening theme song is "For the Love of Money" by The O'Jays. Unlike its precursor, Celebrity Apprentice consists of celebrities as competing apprentices rather than unknowns. Some of the celebrities featured are contemporary while others have been out of the public eye for some time. They compete to win money for a charitable organization of their choice, and come from various mass media fields, including radio and television and professional sport.

The Celebrity Apprentice was linked in seasons to its precursor TV show, The Apprentice, which consisted of seasons one to six and season ten. The Celebrity Apprentice consists of seasons seven to nine and eleven to fifteen.


The format of The Celebrity Apprentice followed that of the original The Apprentice, outside of housing arrangements; there was no communal living space, and celebrities were not required to live in the city during filming, allowing them to maintain their own appearance schedule which may have caused them to miss out on tasks at times. The two teams were given separate suites near the boardroom which they can use for planning and other activities related to the tasks.

Additionally, the celebrities as contestants were not vying for a job, but instead each had selected a charity for which they were playing. The winner of each season got a large donation made to that charity by the host, but in addition, winning project managers may also have received additional charity money by winning a task, either as a fixed amount set by the host and/or a participating business, or by the total charitable take they made on the task. The host also had discretion to provide charity funds to eliminated celebrities as a consolation prize.


On July 6, 2007, it was announced that The Apprentice had been renewed for a seventh season, with a possibility of an eighth.[3] In an effort to revitalize interest in the series, season seven[4] featured celebrities playing the game to raise money for charities, going under the name The Celebrity Apprentice as opposed to continuing under The Apprentice format. British tabloid editor Piers Morgan was declared the winner of that season. On January 28, 2008, NBC confirmed that season eight would feature celebrities playing the game to raise money for charity. That season premiered in March 2009, and resulted in a win for comedian Joan Rivers.[5]

Trump with Dennis Rodman for Celebrity Apprentice in 2009

Season three of The Celebrity Apprentice aired in the spring of 2010, and was won by musician Bret Michaels.

On March 17, 2010, NBC officially stated that a new season of the original Apprentice would be brought back, with the explanation that regular working people would again attract audiences in light of the damaged U.S. economy. That season premiered September 16, 2010.[6] This time the ratings were low, and both Trump and Producer Mark Burnett returned to the 'Celebrity' format, which saw John Rich win in season four. In season five, late night host Arsenio Hall won. In season six, the first all-star season took place, bringing back 14 of the most memorable celebrities to compete for the first title of the All-Star Celebrity Apprentice, which country singer Trace Adkins won. In season seven, Donald Trump returned the show to the regular Celebrity Apprentice format; TV anchor and talk show host Leeza Gibbons won the season.

After Trump announced his intentions to run for President of the United States in the 2016 election in 2015, NBC began to re-evaluate their business relationship with Trump and whether he could still be host of The Apprentice series.[7] NBC stated that they opted to sever their business ties with Trump following "derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants" in June 2015, and began seeking a new host for the show.[8] However, Trump stated that it was his decision to end the relationship with NBC "out of respect", even though he had been approached by Burnett and NBC to host two more seasons of the show just prior to his presidential bid.[9] In an April 2016 interview, Trump revealed he earned about $213 million from the show over its 14 seasons.[10]

In September 2015, NBC announced that actor and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger would become the new host of The Celebrity Apprentice to premiere during the 2016–17 television season.[11] The rebooted series, The New Celebrity Apprentice first broadcast on January 2, 2017.[12] Trump will remain credited as an Executive Producer to the show, including what is estimated as a five-figure per-show fee as well as ongoing profits from the franchise through MGM, the production entity for the show.[13]

On March 3, 2017, NBC announced that Arnold Schwarzenegger stepped down as host of The Celebrity Apprentice, leaving the show's future up in the air. Schwarzenegger cited poor ratings as well as his feud with President Trump as factors in his decision.[14]

Statistics by season[edit]

Seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of The Celebrity Apprentice on NBC. Note: Given that the show is a sequel television series, the below "statistics by season" chart is a continuation from its precursor's (The Apprentice) "statistics by season" chart. Note as well that season 10 is omitted from the chart below as the show reverted to The Apprentice for that season.

Season Host Winner Winner's charity Time slot Season premiere Season finale TV season Ranking Viewers
(in millions)
Finale viewers
(in millions)
7 Donald Trump Piers Morgan Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund Thursday
9:00 pm
January 3, 2008 March 27, 2008 2007–08 48 11.0[15] 12.1[16]
8 Joan Rivers God's Love We Deliver Sunday
9:00 pm
March 1, 2009 May 10, 2009 2008–09 52 9.0[17] 8.7[18]
9 Bret Michaels American Diabetes Association March 14, 2010 May 23, 2010 2009-10 59 7.4[19] 9.3[20]
11 John Rich St. Jude Children's Research Hospital March 6, 2011 May 22, 2011 2010–11 46 8.8[21] 8.3[22]
12 Arsenio Hall Magic Johnson Foundation February 19, 2012 May 20, 2012 2011–12 73[23] 7.1[23] 6.9[24]
13 Trace Adkins American Red Cross March 3, 2013 May 19, 2013 2012–13 84[25] 5.6[25] 5.3
14 Leeza Gibbons Leeza's Care Connection Monday
8:00 pm
January 4, 2015 February 16, 2015 2014–15 67[26] 7.6[26] 6.1
15 Arnold Schwarzenegger Matt Iseman Arthritis Foundation January 2, 2017 February 13, 2017 2016–17 90[27] 4.8[27] 3.5[28]

Candidates by season[edit]

Note: Winners are indicated in Bold; second-place finishers are indicated in Italics.

Celebrity Apprentice 1 (season 7)[edit]

Celebrity Apprentice 2 (season 8)[edit]

Celebrity Apprentice 3 (season 9)[edit]

Celebrity Apprentice 4 (season 11)[edit]

Celebrity Apprentice 5 (season 12)[edit]

Celebrity Apprentice 6 (season 13)[edit]

Celebrity Apprentice 7 (season 14)[edit]

The New Celebrity Apprentice (season 15)[edit]

Similar shows in other nations[edit]


  1. ^ Pena, Jessica (June 9, 2016). "The New Celebrity Apprentice: Arnold Schwarzenegger Series Coming to NBC". TV Series Finale. Retrieved June 9, 2016.
  2. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (August 3, 2017). "'Celebrity Apprentice': NBC Boss Doesn't Have "Any Plans to Bring It Back"". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  3. ^ Rocchio, Christopher; Rogers, Steve; "Report: NBC to announce renewal of Donald Trump's The Apprentice; July 6, 2007
  4. ^ "The Apprentice: Trump Says NBC Wants Him Back"; 31 May 2007
  5. ^ NBC Says "You're Hired" for Second Season Pick Up of 'The Celebrity Apprentice' and Announces Live Two-Hour Finale of Season One on March 27th at 9:00 PM-11:00 PM ET
  6. ^ - NBC, Donald Trump and Mark Burnett Want To Help America Get Back To Work With New Version Of Popular Original Series 'The Apprentice'
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  11. ^ "Arnold Schwarzenegger to Replace Donald Trump As Host of 'Celebrity Apprentice'". Variety. 2015-09-14. Retrieved 2015-09-10.
  12. ^ Lawrence, Derek. "Arnold Schwarzenegger's Celebrity Apprentice gets premiere date". Entertainment Weekly. Time, Inc. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  13. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (December 8, 2016). "Donald Trump to Remain Executive Producer on 'Celebrity Apprentice'". Variety. Retrieved December 8, 2016.
  14. ^ Arnold Schwarzenegger Bails on 'Celebrity Apprentice' Citing Show's 'Baggage' The Hollywood Reporter (via Yahoo!); March 3, 2017
  15. ^ 11 million watch Celebrity Apprentice, which was the top-rated 18–49 show of the night Archived 2008-11-21 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Levin, Gary (May 12, 2009). "Nielsens: 'Amazing Race,' how sweet the ratings". USA Today. Retrieved October 4, 2009.
  17. ^ "Season 8 Program Ranking". June 2, 2009. Retrieved October 4, 2009.
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  20. ^ Kissell, Rick (May 24, 2010). "SABC's 'Lost' finishes on top". Variety. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
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  22. ^ 'Family Guy' rules on a night of finales
  23. ^ a b Gorman, Bill (May 24, 2012). "Complete List Of 2011-12 Season TV Show Viewership: 'Sunday Night Football' Tops, Followed By 'American Idol,' 'NCIS' & 'Dancing With The Stars'". Archived from the original on May 27, 2012. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  24. ^ "Sunday final Ratings". Nielson. Archived from the original on 25 May 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  25. ^ a b Bibel, Sara (May 29, 2012). "Complete List Of 2012-13 Season TV Show Viewership: 'Sunday Night Football' Tops, Followed By 'NCIS,' 'The Big Bang Theory' & 'NCIS: Los Angeles'". Archived from the original on June 7, 2013. Retrieved May 29, 2012.
  26. ^ a b "Full 2014-15 Series Rankings". Deadline Hollywood. May 22, 2015. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  27. ^ a b "Final 2016-17 TV Rankings: 'Sunday Night Football' Winning Streak Continues". Deadline Hollywood. May 26, 2017. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
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External links[edit]