The Television Critics Association tour always yields exciting news: casting bits, new series announcements, fresh footage, promises that deeply problematic presidential nominees won't return to their home networks...
On Tuesday, Entertainment Weekly asked NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt if Donald Trump would be back for more Celebrity Apprentice if he doesn't end up in the White House. “No," Greenblatt said ("firmly"). “He would never be back on Celebrity Apprentice, as long as I’m here.”
NBC entertainment president Jennifer Salke was more measured, saying, "I have no idea what our response would be. With him, we’re taking one day at a time and seeing where he ends up and watching this unfold like all of you. We’re not involved in his life.”
The TCA discussion also went into how much Trump's 11 years as the face of The Apprentice (which premiered in 2004) and its celebrified sibling may have contributed to his political popularity. Greenblatt acknowledged that "we were happy to have a show that was doing really well with a guy who was a big TV star," but doesn't see "really that much of a correlation, one to the other." He explained:
"I think he’s been a prominent figure for so many years that it’s probably not surprising that he would embark on this kind of journey, but it is interesting that he was on the show for so long and now he’s sort of on the national stage the way he is.”
Watch Fuse's report on Donald Trump's trip to Cleveland for the Republican National Convention: