Real estate tycoon Donald Trump will be back on NBC with a new group of 16 would-be proteges for a second edition of reality hit “The Apprentice” to debut in the fall, the network said Thursday.
The show, featuring a group of ambitious, young entrepreneurs vying for a $250,000-a-year dream job as a top executive in Trump’s business empire, has proven to be a ratings winner for NBC since its premiere last month.
In its first three Thursday night telecasts, buoyed by a lead-in from NBC powerhouse comedy “Friends,” Trump’s show has averaged a 9.4 rating among the network’s target audience of 18- to 49-year-olds and 19.1 million viewers overall, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Not counting the show’s lone Wednesday night outing opposite Fox’s hit talent contest “American Idol,” “The Apprentice” ranks as the season’s No. 3 series in the 18-49 demographic and No. 6 in total viewers. That Wednesday night episode, on Jan. 21, drew a comparatively anemic 6.4 million viewers overall.
“The Apprentice,” created by “Survivor” executive producer Mark Burnett, started off pitting two teams of wannabe tycoons divided by gender in a series of projects assigned by Trump to test their salesmanship and street smarts. The losing team is summoned to Trump’s board room, and he fires one of its members at the end of each episode.