She can toss a mean salad and arrange a killer bouquet, but how well does Martha Stewart swing the ax? We'll find out next season when NBC serves up The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, the cupcake queen's very own Apprentice spin-off.
Never one to temper expectations, Donald Trump — who, in addition to firing folks on his show, will serve as an executive producer of Stewart's — predicts the domestic goddess' series will be "tremendous. I hope it does every bit as well as [mine]."
But what if Stewart's version does better, as many expect it will? Brace yourself for the ultimate clash of the titans. "It'll be two American icons going head to head," suggests Ed Martin, a columnist for the showbiz newsletter "Jack Myers Report." "If anyone can bruise Trump's ego, it's Martha."
For his part, Trump insists that he sees Stewart — who will finish serving her five-month prison sentence for obstruction of justice on March 5 — as a colleague, not a rival. "If I weren't producing [her version], there would be more of a competitive zeal," he allows. "But being a partner of the show, I just want it to do as well as it can."
Adds Susan Lyne, chief executive of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia: "If there's competition, it will be healthy competition." NBC president Jeff Zucker isn't worried about Trump being trumped, either, labeling such talk "more of a media story than anything."
We'll see about that. In the meantime, being the troublemakers that we are, we had to ask how the Donald feels about the Martha getting her name in the title when even he has not been afforded that luxury. (The fourth season of Trump's show will still be called, as always, The Apprentice.) "It's a very interesting question," he replies. "Until now, it hasn't been necessary — The Apprentice has always been [synonymous with] Donald Trump. I'll have to think about that." Let the games begin!
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