The New Celebrity Apprentice starring Arnold Schwarzenegger went out with a whimper Monday night. American Ninja Warrior host Matt Iseman was crowned the winner in the pre-taped 1 hour finale. 80’s pop star Boy George was the runner up.
Final Nielsen ratings for the show were 0.9 in the 18-49 demo averaging 3.49 million viewers. In contrast, ABC’s The Bachelor garnered a 2.4 rating in the demo and an average of 7.56 million viewers. The Bachelor had more or less double the numbers of The New Celebrity Apprentice.
Variety wonders if controversy over President Donald Trump’s executive producer credit hurt the show:
Trump would retain an executive producer credit on the revived show — and would receive a per-episode fee in the five-figure range — efforts to promote the series became mired in controversy. Series creator Mark Burnett was a no-show at a press conference for the show the day after news of Trump’s executive producer credit broke. Speaking with reporters at that event, Schwarzenegger implied that Trump could have had a more active role in the show than NBC, producer MGM, and Trump himself had indicated.
After The New Celebrity Apprentice premiere in January rated lower than the previous Trump-helmed season in 2015, the president took to twitter to rub it in. Then, Trump used the National Prayer Breakfast to take a swipe at Schwarzenegger, which prompted a response from the new host.
Or maybe the franchise was already losing steam during Trump’s reign and Schwarzenegger merely oversaw its demise.
Here’s the official winners announcement from NBC. Iseman raised $573,329 for his charity, the Arthritis Foundation, and Boy George raised $445,925 for his charity, Safe Kids Worldwide:
Coming into the season as a self-proclaimed underdog, Iseman had an impressive seven wins and four loses throughout the season and two wins while serving as project manager.
In the final task for Carnival Corporation, Iseman and co-finalist Boy George were tasked with preparing an ad campaign, hosting a party and producing a mini-variety show about Carnival Cruise Lines.
Looking to impress and increase the star wattage, Iseman had teammate Carnie Wilson call in a favor from her iconic band Wilson Philips while Boy George brought in Natasha Bedingfield and also performed his beloved hit “Karma Chameleon.”
The Arthritis Foundation is very personal to Iseman due to his own struggles with rheumatoid arthritis. Over the course of the season over $923,000 was raised for the Arthritis Foundation, which helps support 50 million Americans living with the condition.
The Celebrity Apprentice has raised more than $17 million for charity to date.