Trump to NBC: "You Can't Fire Me, I Quit!"
MAY 19, 2007: All these months as I watched the sixth cycle of Donald Trump's reality show "The Apprentice" sinking in the ratings I would envision a post that read: "NBC to Trump: You're Fired!" Alas, no such luck - the catfighting billionaire says he has just quit.
The corporate-themed competition, which aired in dozens of countries around the world, featured young, aggressive entrepreneurs in a weekly game of elimination as they competed for a real-life job in Trump's business empire.
An instant hit in its inaugural 2004 season, "The Apprentice" pulled in an average of 21 million viewers throughout its four-month run with the first season finale bringing as many as 28 million viewers.
But the series dropped steadily in the ratings in successive cycles, losing nearly two-thirds of its original audience by the time it wrapped up its sixth installment last month.
The series was criticized by some viewers for losing credibility and basically turning into a one-hour infomercial filled with product placement for Trump's real estate and golf courses, as well as sponsors of the show.
Earlier this week, when NBC announced its new schedule at the Upfronts in New York it failed to include "The Apprentice" saying they have yet to make a decision about the show's fate.
Donald Trump however won't be waiting for NBC to do what he had been doing to dozens of power-hungry entrepreneurs.
Late Friday night, the Trump organization released a statement that ends any doubt "The Apprentice" would get a last-minute reprieve.
"It looks like viewers will have to wait to see what Mr. Trump plans for the future," the statement said.
"But if Mr. Trump's past TV success is any indication of the future, then one can anticipate that millions of 'Apprentice' fans will be migrating to his new television venture."
Earlier this week, there was a rumor that series creator Mark Burnett and Donald Trump were shopping the series around Hollywood looking for a new network.
Now it appears if Donald Trump does go back to weekly television, his format will have to undergo a significant makeover.
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