NBC is rehiring the original Apprentice, the network announced Wednesday.
The non-celebrity version of the reality show from executive producers Mark Burnett and Donald Trump will return for a sixth season with a revised format. It will emphasize the country's economy by casting 14 contestants affected by the recession. The new cast will consist of people who have been laid off, are unhappy with their current career path or recently graduated with few possibilities.
"The Apprentice is a proven brand, and we believe its return is more relevant than ever since it will provide new hope for many Americans struggling in this difficult job market," said Paul Telegdy, NBC's executive vice president of alternative programming.
The Apprentice premiered in January 2004 and quickly became a hit for NBC. The series not only spawned Trump's catchphrase "You're fired!" but also made several of the show's contestants such as winner Bill Rancic (Giuliana & Bill) and Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth famous.
"I am very excited to return to the original premise of The Apprentice," Trump said. "We've got to do something about the economy and this is a terrific way to provide jobs as well as business lessons along the way."
The first season of The Apprentice averaged 20.70 million viewers in 2004 and attracted 28.05 million viewers for its first finale. The most recent installment of Celebrity Apprentice premiered Sunday to 8.3 million viewers and a 3.2 rating in the 18-to-49 demo.
Open casting calls will be held across the nation for the new season but in the meantime, hopeful contestants are encouraged to e-mail email@example.com. No airdate has been announced.
Are you excited for the return of The Apprentice?