The Apprentice, Donald Trump’s reality show that airs on NBC, will be put on pause during Trump’s presidential campaign. Networks aren’t allowed to give one presidential hopeful more airtime than other candidates, and the NBC fears other candidates will cry foul if the billionaire continues to host The Apprentice. The series, which is in its 15th season, had a drop in ratings after the last season of Celebrity Apprentice, but the network still renewed the show, reports TMZ.
“We will re-evaluate Trump’s role as host of Celebrity Apprentice should it become necessary, as we are committed to this franchise,” NBC told reporters in a statement. While NBC has indicated they might replace Trump with another The Apprentice host, there currently are no plans to dump Donald since production hasn’t started yet on next season.
NBC has adopted a “wait and see” policy about The Apprentice, since it’s possible he won’t even be running for president by the time filming is about to begin, reports CNN.
Trump isn’t the first celebrity show host to leave production to become the next leader of the free world. In January, Mike Huckabee left his weekend show on Fox News last January. “I won’t make a decision about running until late in the spring of 2015, but the continued chatter has put Fox News into a position that is not fair to them,” Huckabee said in a letter to fans.
So what do The Apprentice winners have to say about sharing a room with the next presidential candidate? Fortune magazine hunted down the winners of past years of The Apprentice for their opinions. Bill Rancic, winner of The Apprentice’s first season (and also its most watched), said Trump is a “guy who held up his end of the bargain. He truly took me under his wing. You’ve got to have good people around you. You can’t do it alone. He knows how to get the best out of those people.”
Kelly Perdew, winner of Season 2 of The Apprentice, said Trump is a “master of [prioritization]”, which might make him the ideal presidential candidate. Kendra Todd, the first woman to win a spot at Donald’s table, said, “The biggest impression of that time with him was that he’s willing to push the boundaries of what people believe. He really showed that his name in itself has intrinsic value.”
And in probably the most salient point of Trump’s presidential bid, Sean Yazbeck, the fourth winner of The Apprentice, said Trump “would say you should always stay relevant [and] need to be in the public eye.”
[Image from YouTube]