Before Donald Trump was making political headlines as a presidential candidate, he was making pop culture headlines as host of NBC's reality series Celebrity Apprentice. Trump still has a few months left before the November election decides whether or not he'll be the next president of the United States. Still, it's been hard not to wonder if he can ever return to NBC and Celebrity Apprentice. Now, NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt has come out with the answer, and he didn't mince words:
Donald Trump would not be welcome back on Celebrity Apprentice as long as Robert Greenblatt remains NBC entertainment chairman, according to EW. Such a definitive answer comes as a slight surprise. After all, no matter whether Trump wins or loses in his bid for the White House, he's a very big name in pop culture right now. A Trump reappearance on NBC could bring a major ratings boost. Even his detractors might be curious enough to check him out if he came back to network television.
That said, NBC and Donald Trump didn't exactly end their relationship amicably. Trump was already taking a break from Celebrity Apprentice to focus on his campaign when he made an inflammatory speech with disparaging remarks about immigrants. NBC terminated the relationship with Trump, ending his run on Apprentice and losing rights to the Trump beauty pageants.
The network went pretty far in severing ties with the controversial candidate, and Trump hasn't exactly become less of a divisive figure in the months since the end of his time on NBC. Any ratings boost that could come from Trump returning to Celebrity Apprentice - whether regularly as a host again or as a one-off - could result in other problems in the long run.
Besides, NBC hasn't given up on Celebrity Apprentice just because Donald Trump is no longer the host. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed on as the new head of the show, and the program will be significantly different with him as leading man. For one thing, the classic "You're fired!" catchphrase will be replaced, and the boardroom that had been filled with Trump kids and advisors will be occupied by new faces. The revamped board will be comprised of Jessica Alba, Tyra Banks, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Steve Ballmer, and Warren Buffett. Frankly, I'd tune in just to see how this somewhat bizarre group will work as the board to Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Celebrity Apprentice without Donald Trump won't hit the airwaves until next year, so we have a while to wait to see how Arnold Schwarzenegger does in his place. Bob Greenblatt was definitive enough that we shouldn't expect even tanked ratings to result in a return to Celebrity Apprentice return for Trump. Check out our fall TV premiere schedule to see what you'll be able to watch in the not-too-distant future.