The Apprentice 7 will take The Office’s Thursday timeslot, but could move if strike ends

When The Apprentice 7 debuts on January 3, it will take the timeslot currently occupied by The Office and Scrubs. It’s the same timeslot that Donald Trump occupied until it moved to Mondays for its fifth season. This is probably the most high-profile strike-related scheduling change involving reality TV, besides the spring return of Big Brother, because the celebrity Apprentice will be filling in for a lack of new scripted shows.

Although “NBC has established a credible comedy presence on the night,” “‘The Office’ [is] now in repeats until after a WGA strike is settled, [so] NBC brass have decided to use the prime slot to pump the Donald,” Variety reports.

However, that could change. “If a strike is settled quickly, it’s possible ‘The Apprentice’ will move,” Variety says. Producers’ and writers’ representatives will return to negotiations on Monday, after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Meanwhile, Monday’s official announcement of the show’s lackluster, reality star-filled 14-member cast, which was based on a month-old press conference, included news that there celebrities signed up but then backed out. “We had three people who signed, they were done, and then they said they were just messes. They couldn’t sleep, they couldn’t eat, they couldn’t do anything. And they said they just can’t do it. … It takes a certain amount of courage to do [reality TV],” Trump told reporters, according to the New York Daily News.