The network announced Wednesday (April 29) that "The Celebrity Apprentice" will return for its third season (or ninth season, depending on whether you view "Celebrity Apprentice" as its own creature, separate from "The Apprentice") in the spring of 2010.
"'The Celebrity Apprentice' is the ultimate business and reality show at the top of its game and has exploded in popularity this season while also raising an impressive amount of money for charity," says Paul Telegdy, executive vice president, alternative programming, NBC and Universal Media Studios. "It's a valuable franchise and proven competitor and we're thrilled to have Mr. Trump and Mr. Burnett back to create another brilliant season."
An instant-phenomenon when it premiered in January 2004, "The Apprentice" was on life support by the end of its sixth season in 2007. The introduction of semi-celebrities as contestants and a charitable component reinvigorated the show last spring.
The second celebrity edition of "The Apprentice" is averaging 8.6 million viewers this season to go with a solid 3.5 rating in the key 18-49 demographic. NBC has had particular success playing up Boardroom temper tantrums by the likes of Joan Rivers and Dennis Rodman to boost ratings in the 10:30 half-hour leading into local news.
As always, Donald Trump is ecstatic.
"'The Apprentice' and 'Celebrity Apprentice' have been an amazing adventure for me and, obviously, a very popular show with the public," Trump raves in NBC's statement. "Its Emmy nominations and great success have translated into a wonderful experience. Working with Mark Burnett has been terrific, and I am greatly honored that NBC has renewed us for yet another season, our ninth."
"The Apprentice" was most recently Emmy nominated (for cinematography) in 2006.
Stay up to date with the latest breaking news in the worlds of movies, TV and music by signing up for HitFix E-mail Alerts.