Echoing comments made this week by NBC entertainment president Kevin Reilly, reality guru Mark Burnett - an executive producer of The Apprentice whose new series Pirate Master premieres on CBS May 31 - says the Peacock knows it did the Donald's show no favors this past cycle by slotting it on Sunday, leading out of the poorly rated Grease: YTOTIW and on a night when people don't want a work-themed program. "[NBC Universal CEO] Jeff Zucker is an honest person... and he said to me and Donald recently, 'We did the show in. We were wrong,'" Burnett tells TV Guide.

That said, The Apprentice's absence from NBC's just-announced 2007-08 slate is not a death knell for the boardroom. "The fact of the matter is The Apprentice isn't done," says Burnett. "NBC is still within their time period to make their choice [by June 1]. And let me tell you something, there are plenty of other [TV outlets] calling, who want Donald Trump and that publicity machine... on the air. You've seen it before, shows have left one network and gone to another. I wouldn't be surprised." - Reporting by Joseph Hudak