Question: What's your take on why NBC renewed The Apprentice? Do they really have nothing better waiting in the wings? If The Apprentice was renewed just to fill a spot in its lineup, maybe the network needs to start improving its talent-development program. The Apprentice is so past its prime it could guest-star on CSI as the dead body on the autopsy table. I can't imagine that the show can be of any benefit to NBC either in terms of ratings or creating buzz. Maybe The Donald has given the head honchos at NBC the penthouse suite at his Atlantic Casino in exchange for the renewal? If they have to have a reality show (and honestly, do they really need one?), then I'd rather have something along the lines of Who Wants to Be a Superhero or even Grease: You’re the One That I Want. (PS: If it has to return, they should at least ditch all of the "improvements" of the last season, bring back Caroline, make the challenges more about business and less about sex, and maybe capture some of the charm of the first and best season.)
Answer: As we now know, NBC's renewal of The Apprentice for mid-season came with a twist: a celebrity edition, played for charity. Does this make it look any less desperate and borderline pathetic? Not really. But at this stage of NBC's rebuilding phase, including a new management regime, it's not exactly a surprise to see the network leaning on a brand-name franchise like this for backup, despite how far it's faded. If this version performs as badly as the last one, though, there will be no excuse (outside of the purely mercenary, through blatant product placements) to keep this reality dinosaur alive.