The Apprentice 5 debuts tonight

Two years ago, the first season of The Apprentice was airing, and it was a hit. Now, not so much. For its fifth season, NBC kicks the show off Thursday nights and banishes it to Mondays at 9 p.m. ET.

Tonight’s debut is preceded by NBC’s hit game show Deal or No Deal, on which Donald Trump will make an appearance, perhaps hiding in one of the briefcases and jumping out and saying “boo!” Or maybe he’ll make a joke about his hair and Howie Mandel’s lack of it. Trump isn’t going on Martha Stewart’s daytime show to promote his show, although they’ve been doing that in other mediums.

The odd thing about The Apprentice 5‘s premiere, I think, is that it shows no growth on behalf of its concept or its star. Survivor and its host Jeff Probst evolved, and even American Idol changed over time, but not Donald Trump or his baby. Maybe viewers will be drawn to its new night where there’s less competition, or maybe the show just needs a shake-up, like next season’s change of venue.

The Apprentice 5 [NBC]
The Apprentice 5 [Yahoo]
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Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 37, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.