The Celebrity Apprentice

The Celebrity Apprentice
Genre Reality competition
Created by Mark Burnett
Theme music composer
Opening theme "For the Love of Money"
Performed by The O'Jays
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 7
No. of episodes 83
Producer(s) Mark Burnett
Donald Trump
Location(s) New York, New York
Running time 60 minutes (season 1)
120 minutes (seasons 2–)
Production company(s)
Distributor FremantleMedia Enterprises
Original network NBC
Original release January 3, 2008 (2008-01-03) – present
Related shows The Apprentice: Martha Stewart
The Apprentice

The Celebrity Apprentice is an American television reality game show. It is a variation of The Apprentice series which was previously hosted by real estate magnate, businessman, reality television personality, and President-elect Donald Trump. Also like its precursor, the show's opening theme song is "For the Love of Money" by The O'Jays. Unlike its precursor, however, Celebrity Apprentice consists of famous people as competing apprentices rather than unknowns. Some of the celebrities are relatively current while others tend to be those who have been out of the public eye for some time. All of them are competing to win money for a charitable organization of their choice. The celebrities come from a wide variety of different fields in the media: sitcoms, professional sports, music industry, reality television, radio, and other backgrounds.

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

The eighth season (15th overall) is set to premiere on January 2, 2017.[1]


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

Additionally, the celebrities as contestants are not vying for a job, but instead each has selected a charity that they are playing for. The winner of each season gets a large donation made to that charity by the host, but in addition, winning project managers may also receive 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 has 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.[2] In an effort to revitalize interest in the series, season seven[3] 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.[4]

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.[5] 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.[6] NBC stated that they opted to sever their business ties with Trump following politically-charged comments that Trump made in June 2015, and began seeking a new host for the show.[7] 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.[8] In an April 2016 interview, Trump revealed he earned about $213 million from the show over its 14 seasons.[9]

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.[10] The rebooted series, The New Celebrity Apprentice is set to first broadcast January 2, 2017.[11]

Statistics by season

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

Candidates by season

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

Celebrity Apprentice 1 (season 7)

Celebrity Apprentice 2 (season 8)

Celebrity Apprentice 3 (season 9)

Celebrity Apprentice 4 (season 11)

Celebrity Apprentice 5 (season 12)

Celebrity Apprentice 6 (season 13)

Celebrity Apprentice 7 (season 14)

The New Celebrity Apprentice (season 15)

Similar shows in other nations


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  2. Rocchio, Christopher; Rogers, Steve; "Report: NBC to announce renewal of Donald Trump's The Apprentice; July 6, 2007
  3. "The Apprentice: Trump Says NBC Wants Him Back"; 31 May 2007
  4. 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
  5. - NBC, Donald Trump and Mark Burnett Want To Help America Get Back To Work With New Version Of Popular Original Series 'The Apprentice'
  6. Pallotta, Frank; Stelter, Brian (June 13, 2015). "NBC to 're-evaluate' Trump's 'Apprentice' role". CNN. Retrieved October 26, 2016.
  7. Stelter, Brian; Pallotta, Frank (June 30, 2015). "NBCUniversal cuts ties with Donald Trump". CNN. Retrieved October 26, 2016.
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  12. 11 million watch Celebrity Apprentice, which was the top-rated 18–49 show of the night
  13. Levin, Gary (May 12, 2009). "Nielsens: 'Amazing Race,' how sweet the ratings". USA Today. Retrieved October 4, 2009.
  14. "Season 8 Program Ranking". June 2, 2009. Retrieved October 4, 2009.
  15. "Network TV Press Releases: "Celebrity Apprentice" and "Biggest Loser: Couples," Pace NBC's Week". May 12, 2009. Retrieved October 4, 2009.
  16. Gorman, Bill (June 16, 2010). "Final 2009-10 Broadcast Primetime Show Average Viewership". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved June 19, 2010.
  17. Kissell, Rick (May 24, 2010). "SABC's 'Lost' finishes on top". Variety. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  18. Andreeva, Nellie (2011-05-27). "Full 2010-11 Season Series Rankings". Deadline Hollywood. Media Corporation. 2010-11 Season: Series Ranking In Total Viewers (in thousands). Retrieved 2011-05-27.
  19. 'Family Guy' rules on a night of finales
  20. 1 2 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'". Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  21. "Sunday final Ratings". Nielson. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  22. 1 2 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'". Retrieved May 29, 2012.
  23. 1 2 "Full 2014-15 Series Rankings". Deadline Hollywood. May 22, 2015. Retrieved May 22, 2015.

External links

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