NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt confirmed today at the Television Critics Association press conference that presidential candidate, Donald Trump would “absolutely not” be returning to The Celebrity Apprentice.
The network has not chosen a new host yet, and for that reason NBC has had to delay the show’s return to the schedule. “We will not be producing a new edition of the show this season, but it will be back for the ’16-’17 season with a new host,” Greenblatt said. “We’ve actually been overwhelmed with a number of really exciting people who’ve come forward and are interested in taking over the show.”
Greenblatt revealed that the new host would maintain some Trump-like qualities. “We’re always looking for a host of that show who’s going to make noise and be a big personality and there’s a few people out there who fit that bill.” Greenblatt said, “As soon as we settle on someone, we will get the word out, and something tells me it will be big news.”
Trump’s outsized personality is his appeal, said Greenblatt. “Whether you agree with anything he says, he says it without any kind of filter,” he added, “I think there’s something refreshing about that. I do believe that at a certain point you also have to look at the message and make your own decisions and draw your own conclusions. But the world likes a star, and he’s a star.”
On Trump’s future with NBC, Greenblatt said, “I don’t think somebody who, you know, is running for president and might possibly be the next leader of the free world could be banned from any activities at NBC, but we have to see how this plays out. I honesty don’t know what else he might want to do business[-wise] with us. At the moment, we’re sort of separated.”
Greenblatt added that, as a candidate for president, Trump was absolutely welcome on NBC’s late-night talk shows.
“He is a lovely guy. He was very much a collaborator and worked with us closely on Celebrity Apprentice and, you know, is a really effusive, great guy. We weren’t in any sort of adversarial position. There were no controversies,” said Greenblatt. “It was a congenial, really great relationship.”