Heading into 2017, a lot of things will be changing. Arnold Schwarzenegger will be the star of Celebrity Apprentice. Scandal will be back. Heck, Donald Trump will be our new President. Speaking of the latter, the man is still going to be involved with the entertainment business, acting as an executive producer for the Celebrity Apprentice franchise. Since he'll have a lot to do both domestically and in terms of foreign relations as part of his new job, it seems that executive producing should be pretty far from the Donald's mind. However, executive producing isn't always an active gig when it comes to TV shows.
MGM recently revealed that Donald Trump is still attached to Celebrity Apprentice as an executive producer. If you are unfamiliar with the complex nature of TV deals, we'll go ahead and tell you that this isn't super unusual. The business mogul and former TV host has been a part of the series since Season 1 of The Apprentice aired on NBC back in 2004. According to Variety, Trump will retain his executive producing status, and will appear in the credits between other producer Mark Burnett and Arnold Schwarzenegger, as the latter also negotiated for an executive producing credit when he signed on as the new host.
Donald Trump's business interest in The Celebrity Apprentice isn't as strange as it might seem. It's been clear since quite early on in the election process that Donald Trump is no longer working for NBC. In fact, the network fired Trump some time ago, releasing a statement related to Trump's comments about immigration. This was well before the election actually happened. However, whenever someone helps to create a TV series, they traditionally get an executive producing credit and some profit participation due to the show still being made. For example, that's how Hart Hanson is still listed as the creator on the series and receives an executive producing credit on the show, despite having stepped down from the day-to-day a few years ago.
Trump has already set a meeting to help to explain how his vested business interests won't have an affect on his running of the country. That conference is supposed to happen on December 15. Other Presidents have also made money outside of the Oval Office thanks to book deals and that ilk.
As for Celebrity Apprentice, the show is bound to look a whole lot different when it returns to the air this winter. Arnold Schwarzenegger is now heading up the series and the show should change drastically in tone as a result. In addition, the boardroom will be comprised of a slew of different people and NBC has said even the catchphrase on the series will change. So, expect the basics of the series to be similar but all of the details to be quite different.
You can see what that will look like when Celebrity Apprentice returns on Monday, January 2 at 8 p.m. ET, only on NBC. To find out what else is heading to TV at midseason, check out our premiere schedule.