The New Celebrity Apprentice has a whole lot new about it: a new title and a new "Chairman of the Board," as the show calls him, Arnold Schwarzenegger. What else is new? Here's all you need to know about the new season.
The 16 contestants hoping to win $250,000 for their charity
- Retired boxer Laila Ali: The Women's Sports Foundation, which ensures girls' access to sports
- Actor/comic Jon Lovitz: St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for childhood cancer
- '80s icon Boy George: Safe Kids Worldwide, which helps prevent childhood injuries
- Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson: Young Warriors, a program for fatherless boys
- Former Dancing with the Stars winner and host Brooke Burke-Charvet: Operation Smile, for kids with facial deformities
- Kyle Richards of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills: Children's Hospital Los Angeles
- Matt Iseman of American Ninja Warrior: The Arthritis Foundation
- Former host of Big Morning Buzz Live with Carrie Keagan Carrie Keagan: The Humane Society
- Famous dandy Carson Kressley: The True Colors Fund for homeless and at-risk LGBT youth
- WNBA star Lisa Leslie: The Semper Fi Fund, for injured veterans
- Motley Crue's Vince Neil: Keep Memory Alive (for Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health)
- Jersey Shore star Snooki: North Shore Animal League America, a no-kill/animal rescue group
- Mixed martial artist Chael Sonnen: Hire Heroes USA, which helps veterans get employed
- Porsha Williams of Real Housewives of Atlanta: Hosea, offering clothes/medical services to those in need
- ESPN sports analyst Ricky Williams: Dr. John E. Upledger Foundation, for CranioSacral Therapy
- Wilson Phillips singer Carnie Wilson: The Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America
It's in a new city!
The New Celebrity Apprentice takes place in Los Angeles, in the state where Arnold — or, "The Governor," as he seems to demand his minions call him — served two terms as the actual Governor. That also gives a few players a home advantage; while nearly every celebrity has spent some time in the City of Angels, Kyle Richards, Carnie Wilson, Jon Lovitz and Matt Iseman are among those who call the city home.
So what will they be doing?
Part of the action will take place in Silicon Valley, which fits in line with the show's promise of making teams do "challenging, business-driven tasks more focused than ever on technology and innovation."
It has heavyweight advisors
Celebrity Apprentice hasn't traditionally been seen as an incubator of weighty, groundbreaking ideas, but the inclusion of industry titans Warren Buffett and Microsoft's Steve Ballmer suggest that true innovation — the first mass-market home robot from Snooki? Boy George solving global warming? — could emerge. Other advisers include Jessica Alba, who turned her brand The Honest Company into a billion-dollar machine; celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito; media magnate Tracey Edmonds; YouTube sensation Justine "iJustine" Ezarik; talking head Leeza Gibbons; finance expert Gemma Godfrey; and Biggest Loser host Bob Harper. There's Tyra Banks, too. Perhaps you've heard of her.
Arnold will be dropping a new catchphrase
We're not sure what it is yet, but we do have some guesses.
There's a lot of money invested in this thing
A bunch of brands, including Trident, Welch's, Kawasaki USA, See's Candies, QVC and more are sponsors; returning sponsor King's Hawaiian saw a sales increase of some 30 percent, NBC says, within a month of a 2015 episode that had its marketing connected to the show. Ad Age reported in 2011 that advertisers were coughing up between $5 million to $9 million to have their products integrated into the show.
The Trump question
You know by now that the show's previous host will soon become president. As executive producer, Donald Trump will continue to receive money for The New Celebrity Apprentice. But the money won't come from NBC, but from from Metro Goldwyn Mayer, which owns the show. Variety reports the minimum Trump will get is "probably in the low five figures per episode" but that's not what has watchdogs' ears perking up. Those pricey endorsements could become a way for brands/companies to get access to the president if the show remains structured as it has in the past. Will things change? Trump's address scheduled for Dec. 15 to review potential business conflicts of interest was canceled and is now planned for before the inauguration in January.
There will be fighting, and there will be puppies
Although early teasers don't show any of the epic meltdowns that've happened in the past (who can forget Kenya Moore vs Vivica Fox?!) there does seem to be friction — especially directed at Jon Lovitz. There is a photo of Lalia Ali and Snooki sparring in a ring, but that's likely a gimmick for the assignment they're doing (Snooki can't be that crazy). One thing we're sure of: there will be puppies, as this shot with Lovtiz shows. What could he be promoting? It's not clear yet but whatever it is, it's going to sell. Who can resist puppies?
The New Celebrity Apprentice debuts Monday Jan. 2 at 8/7c on NBC.