TV Guide Online: Did you work it into the negotiations that The Apprentice remain on Thursdays next fall?
Donald Trump: It's gonna stay in the same slot.
TVGO: You have an assurance from [NBC entertainment president] Jeff Zucker about this?
Trump: That's what they've told me. (An NBC rep tells TV Guide Online that no decision has been made about where and when The Apprentice will air next season.)
TVGO: How did the negotiation with NBC for a second Apprentice compare to the other deals you've made?
Trump: You have to understand, the show is a phenomenal success. It's not very tough to negotiate when the show is the hottest show of the season.
TVGO: Did you drive a hard bargain?
Trump: No, I don't think I did drive a hard bargain. But you have to understand: No matter how much they paid me, it's relative peanuts compared to what I [make] in my real life. If I get Friends-type money, it's like the rent I get from [tenant] American Express in one month.
TVGO: Is it safe to say you got a nice raise?
Trump: Yeah, I got a substantial — a very substantial raise.
TVGO: Could you ever see this show going on without you? Would it work if another A-list tycoon were brought in?
Trump: Everyone says it wouldn't. That'll be something we'll discuss in the future. They really didn't want to take chances because they know what they have and they know how strong it is. On occasion, [producers] take chances like that [on other shows] and then it bombs and they say it was a big mistake. And it's awfully tough to revive the patient.
TVGO: That said, do you see a point coming where you might say, "I've had enough. Let me pass the torch."
Trump: Well, I hope that's the case because I own the show with Mark Burnett.
TVGO: Any possible successors come to mind?
Trump: Nobody does come to mind. I've been thinking about that.
TVGO: What about Leona Helmsley?
Trump: [Laughs] No, that wouldn't work out too well, other than the firing would be quick and rapid... It's something that down the road if I get tired of this, I'm sure that they'll have to think about it. But at this moment, I'm having fun with it. The show's the top [new] show and we're having a good time.
TVGO: Will you segregate the sexes at the start of Season 2?
Trump: I think the concept of beginning that way is always good. It worked in this case very well, other than the women just creamed the men. I think it's a very natural thing to do.
TVGO: Will any favorites from this season make an appearance?
Trump: I could see that happening, but not in Season 2. I think it could happen in a few years, much like Survivor.
TVGO: Like an all-star edition?
Trump: Yeah. I think what they did with Survivor was a very good idea and I could see that happening a number of years down the pike, where you take some of the favorites and put them in.
TVGO: Would Sam be invited back for that?
Trump: Well, he's a piece of work, there's no doubt about that. He's a good guy and smart and a little wild, but he'll be fine.
TVGO: Last question: Will you unveil a new hairdo at the start of Season 2?
Trump: Probably not. Because if I did, the ratings may go down. We don't wanna take any chances.