Never let there be any doubt that NBC, the broadcast kings of "repurposing," know how to milk a good thing for all they can.

Having farmed out repeat broadcasts of last summer's Last Comic Standing to Comedy Central, re-aired last summer's The Restaurant on NBC-owned Bravo, and increasingly used repeats of Bravo's "franchise" Queer Eye For The Straight Guy reality hit to fill holes in its own broadcast lineup, it should come as no surprise that NBC has decided to license out "encore presentations" of its new The Apprentice hit series to a cable network. The only surprise is the identity of the network -- cable news station CNBC.

NBC has announced that beginning January 22, CNBC will air encore presentations of The Apprentice. The re-airs will start as a mini-marathon on CNBC with the debut show airing on Thursday, January 22, at 9 PM ET/PT, and episode two airing the next evening, Friday, January 23, at 9 PM ET/PT. The subsequent 13-episodes will air Thursdays at 10 PM ET/PT, following Dennis Miller.

Produced by reality TV uber-producer Mark Burnett (Survivor, The Restaurant, Combat Missions, Boarding House: North Shore), The Apprentice is a 15-episode series in which legendary business tycoon Donald Trump and a cast of aspiring business moguls vie for a role running one of Trump's businesses.

Last week's NBC premiere of the show scored the highest adult 18-49 rating and overall viewer total for any preview or premiere of any new television series in the past year.

NBC Research estimates that 27.8 million viewers watched all or some of The Apprentice during its premiere.