AceShowbiz - NBC announced on Monday, September 14 that Arnold Schwarzenegger would replace Donald Trump as the host of "The Celebrity Apprentice". The reality series will return next year with Schwarzenegger as 'CEO' in charge of terminating the celebrity contestants.
"We are thrilled to be opening a powerful new chapter in the story of the 'Apprentice' franchise," said Paul Telegdy, president of alternative and late night programming for NBC Entertainment. "Arnold Schwarzenegger is the epitome of a global brand in entertainment and business, and his accomplishments in the political arena speak for themselves. It was Arnold's personal passion for the format that Mark Burnett and Donald Trump built over the last decade, as well as his fresh take on how to take it to new heights for today's audiences, that made him the man to hire. 'The Celebrity Apprentice' ... will be back!"
Schwarzenegger said in a statement, "I have always been a huge fan of 'The Celebrity Apprentice' and the way it showcases the challenges and triumphs of business and teamwork. I am thrilled to bring my experience to the boardroom and to continue to raise millions for charity. Let's get started!"
Exec producer Mark Burnett added, "After leaving the show to run for political office, Donald made it clear that he wanted 'The Celebrity Apprentice' to be able to continue to raise millions of dollars annually for worthy causes, and now NBC and I have found an amazing new leader to do just that. Gov. Schwarzenegger will use his vast and highly successful business, political and media experience to drive this hit franchise to new heights."
Trump announced his presidential run earlier this year but severed ties with NBC after making controversial comment about Mexican immigrants. The two parties set aside their differences last week and had Trump appear on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon".
Trump congratulated Schwarzenegger on the new job, tweeting, "Congrats to my friend @Schwarzenegger who is doing next season's Celebrity Apprentice. He'll be great & will raise lots of $ for charity." He added, "To all my fans, sorry I couldn't do The Apprentice any longer - but equal time (presidential run) prohibits me from doing so. Love!"