The Celebrity Apprentice‘s seventh season finally has a debut date (Jan. 4) and a timeslot (Mondays at 8, taking over from The Voice). The show was filmed last summer after being all but forgotten by NBC, which no longer needs the series like it once did.
Donald Trump appeared on The Today Show this morning to promote the show, and Matt Lauer did the kind of extraordinary journalism The Today Show is now known for by pointing out how the show has been off the air almost two years and had significantly fewer viewers its last season, which aired in the spring of 2013.
Oh, wait, no he did not. Instead, Matt Lauer basically parroted Trump and said, and I quote, “this thing’s working.” He also let Trump get away with saying that the show “continues to do really well.” But I guess I should give Matt Lauer some credit for opening with saying Trump “like a PT Barnum.”
Worse, perhaps, was Trump using former winner Joan Rivers’ death as a way to encourage people to watch. In fewer than 30 seconds, while ostensibly praising her, Trump says versions of “she’s on two episodes of this show” and “she’s a big part of this show” at least four different times, maybe five. Gross.
In his only real question, Lauer asked Trump if producers considered editing the show, and Trump said they did, but instead kept her in and will do something “in memorium” for her.
The cast has been well-known since this summer, but here’s the list with NBC’s descriptions:
The lineup of men joining the competition include two-time World Series champion Johnny Damon; actor and legendary comedian Gilbert Gottfried; Sig Hansen, the star of Deadliest Catch and Captain of the Northwestern; Grammy Award-nominated and multi-platinum musician Kevin Jonas; Golden Globe-nominated actor Lorenzo Lamas; NFL great Terrell Owens; award-winning journalist, author, and talk show host Geraldo Rivera; and television and movie actor Ian Ziering.
The lineup of women include Gold Medal Olympic snowboarder Jamie Anderson; movie star Vivica A. Fox; best-selling author and television icon Leeza Gibbons; reality star and best-selling author Brandi Glanville; TV personality, author, and mother of eight, Kate Gosselin; world-class gymnast and gold medal Olympian Shawn Johnson; Kenya Moore, former Miss USA and star of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”; and television icon Keshia Knight Pulliam.