NBC will replace Trump if he runs for president, gives Sing Off a fall timeslot

The Celebrity Apprentice will return to NBC next spring for its fifth season, but if Donald Trump decides to run for president, the show will replace him.

“If he decides to run for president and is unavailable to do the show, we will bring the show back and there will be somebody else sitting at the head of the boardroom table,” NBC president Bob Greenblatt told reporters yesterday, according to CNN. Greenblatt added, “Who that is, we’re not even going to really entertain because I’m still hoping we will have Donald in the seat.”

I kind of want it to be Ivanka Trump, with her dweeby brothers as her advisers, but I’d guess NBC would want bigger star power in the center chair. This possibility actually excites me, and it almost makes me want Trump to announce he’s running for president, which of course he won’t really do. Despite and/or because of all this attention and drama, NBC is unsurprisingly thrilled with the series: “We couldn’t be happier. There may be headaches down the road but at the moment we’re feeling really good about it,” Greenblatt said.

Meanwhile, NBC announced that it will hold off season two of The Voice until the spring–smart, so it doesn’t have to compete for attention with X Factor–and that its a cappella singing competition The Sing-Off will transition from a December special to a full-time series in the fall, airing on Monday nights. As with every other NBC reality show, there will be two-hour episodes.

Update: Monday, Donald Trump announced at NBC’s upfront presentation that he will not run for president (surprise!). Here’s his full statement, which implies that he’d rather raise money for charity on TV than be a presidential candidate:

“Well, thank you very much, and in particular, I’d like to thank Brian (Roberts), Steve (Burke) and Bob (Greenblatt). Terrific guys. NBC has been amazing. This will be our 12th season, and I have to say, I love ‘Celebrity Apprentice.’ We’ve raised tens of millions of dollars for charity. We’ve never raised so much as we have in the last season. And after getting so many calls from Bob and from Steve and everybody, I’ve decided that we are going to continue onward with ‘Celebrity Apprentice.’ We’re going to continue making lots and lots of money for charity. I will not be running for President, as much as I’d like to, and I want to thank everybody very much. Thank you very much. Gonna see you for a great season.”

about the writer

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, 36, 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.