The Apprentice, the hit reality TV show that was hosted by Donald Trump for 14 seasons, will be returning on January 2, 2017.
The series made its debut in 2004, originally being advertised as the ultimate job interview. Contestants compete against one another to impress Donald Trump and earn themselves a job. Each week, one player would be eliminated, with Trump calling the losing team into a board room and telling them, “You’re fired.”
In 2008, the show was rebooted as The Celebrity Apprentice, with all of the participants now being celebrities such as Arsenio Hall, Piers Morgan, Joan Rivers, Gene Simmons, Andrew Dice Clay, Meat Loaf and Gary Busey.
The Apprentice has not aired a new episode since early 2015. But this January, it returns to NBC with a new host, airing just a few weeks before Donald Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States of America.
Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming season of The Apprentice.
1. Donald Trump Will Serve as Executive Producer
As it turns out, President-Elect Donald Trump won’t be quite as removed from this upcoming season of The Apprentice as one might expect the leader of the free world to be.
According to Variety, Trump will still be credited as the executive producer of the series during season 15. In a statement, Trump transition spokeswoman Hope Hicks said that Trump has “a big stake in the show.”
In addition to retaining this title, it seems there is some possibility of Trump actually being involved in production of the show while he is also serving as president. On Friday, former Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said that the president-elect may continue to produce the series in his free time.
“Presidents have a right to do things in their spare time or their leisure time,” Kellyanne Conway said on CNN today.
Conway compared this to presidents playing golf in order to relax.
2. Donald Trump May Still Receive a Salary
In addition to being credited as executive producer, Trump may also still receive a salary for The Apprentice. The exact number is unclear, but Variety reports that it will be in the low five-figures at minimum. Trump would be getting his pay from MGM Television, not from NBC.
On his financial disclosure forms, Trump claims that he was paid $213 million throughout all 14 seasons of The Apprentice, NBC News reports.
When Kellyanne Conway was asked about the possibility of Trump still being paid for being a producer of the reality series, Conway said that she hasn’t discussed this with Trump but that he might decline to take the money or donate it to charity.
Trump has said that he will decline the salary traditionally offered to the president of the United States.
3. The New Season Will Be Hosted by Arnold Schwarzenegger
With Trump no longer serving as host of The Apprentice, replacing him will be another celebrity turned Republican politician: Arnold Schwarzenegger.
When this news was announced, Paul Telegdy, president of alternative and late night programming for NBC, said that Schwarzenegger was chosen because of his “his fresh take on how to take it to new heights for today’s audiences,” according to TV Guide.
In a statement, Schwarzenegger said that he is a big fan of Trump’s show.
“I have always been a huge fan of The Celebrity Apprentice and the way it showcases the challenges and triumphs of business and teamwork,” Schwarzenegger said. “I am thrilled to bring my experience to the boardroom and to continue to raise millions for charity. Let’s get started!”
After a lewd tape was leaked of Donald Trump bragging about forcibly grabbing women by the genitals, Arnold Schwarzenegger said that for the first time in his life, he did not plan to vote for the Republican nominee for president on Election Day.
Schwarzenegger wrote on Twitter that “as proud as I am to label myself a Republican, there is one label that I hold above all else – American. So I want to take a moment today to remind my fellow Republicans that it is not only acceptable to choose your country over your party – it is your duty.”
4. Contestants Include Jon Lovitz & Snooki
The full cast for the new season of The Celebrity Apprentice was announced in January 2016. The participants this year will be:
- Laila Ali, former professional boxer and daughter of Muhammad Ali
- Brooke Burke-Charvet, actress and winner of Dancing with the Stars season seven
- Eric Dickerson, NFL running back from 1983 to 1993
- Boy George, songwriter and lead singer of Culture Club
- Matt Iseman, stand-up comedian and television host
- Carrie Keagan, host of Up Close with Carrie Keagan
- Carson Kressley, fashion expert on Queer Eye, host of How to Look Good Naked and Dancing With the Stars contestant during the thirteenth season
- Lisa Leslie, former professional basketball player
- Jon Lovitz, actor and comedian known in part for being a cast member of Saturday Night Live for five years
- Vince Neil, songwriter and lead vocalist of Mötley Crüe
- Snooki (Nicole Elizabeth LaValle), cast member of Jersey Shore
- Kyle Richards, actor known for shows such as The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
- Chael Sonnen, mixed martial artist who competed in the UFC’s Light Heavyweight division
- Porsha Williams, cast member of The Real Housewives of Atlanta
- Ricky Williams, NFC running back from 1999 to 2011
- Carnie Wilson, singer for Wilson Phillips
In addition, helping out Schwarzenegger will be Tyra Banks, Jessica Alba, Warren Buffett, Steve Ballmer and Patrick Knapp Schwarzenegger, Arnold’s nephew.
Recently, a few more advisers to Schwarzenegger were added to the cast: former Celebrity Apprentice winner Leeza Gibbons, celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito, Extra host Tracey Edmonds, The Biggest Loser host Bob Harper, YouTube celebrity Justine Ezarik (iJustine), and Moo.la CEO Gemma Godfrey.
5. It Will Be Filmed in Los Angeles
This will be the first season of The Apprentice to take place entirely outside of New York, with the reality show moving this year to Los Angeles, California.
Specifically, the show will be filming at a facility in Silicon Beach, an area home to hundreds of startup companies, according to Variety.
Most prior seasons of The Apprentice were filmed in New York City, with the boardroom sequences taking place in Trump Tower. In fact, when Donald Trump first launched his race for the White House, his presidential campaign’s headquarters was located in a room where old Apprentice sets used to be housed, according to Bloomberg.