'Apprentice' winner Bill Rancic to star in an on-the-job sequel?
By Wade Paulsen, 04/21/2004
The Hollywood Reporter reports that Mark Burnett, creator and co-executive producer of NBC's The Apprentice, is considering production of a spinoff series featuring Bill Rancic, the winner of the program's one-year job with The Trump Organization, during his employment with real-estate tycoon Donald Trump. Although no formal production plan has been put in place, Burnett was quoted as saying that a follow-up series on Bill was a "fairly obvious choice."
Considering that over 40 million viewers watched some portion of the finale, we tend to agree with Mark Burnett. However, we note that a sequel to The Apprentice covering Bill's year of overseeing (in some fashion) construction of the 90-story Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago might end up filled with as many conflicts as Burnett's sequel to The Restaurant.
For one thing, the Chicago project may not be built, since both the financing and the final permits from the city are not in place. For another thing, Bill's role in the organization may be more "show" than "substance," considering the complexity of the Chicago project.
More importantly, though, Burnett told the Hollywood Reporter that one idea for the sequel would be for Bill to hire some of the other contestants from the first season of The Apprentice to work for him in the Trump Chicago project. We have a hard time believing that Bill -- or, for that matter, Donald Trump himself -- would want, say, self-proclaimed "wild man" Sam Solovey or renowned liar Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, to pick the show's best-known failures, working for him if they had any real responsibilities.
We also have a tough time believing that Amy Henry, Kristi Frank, Troy McClain, or the other competent candidates would want to be a part of such a made-for-TV event after failing to become the ultimate winner. Would Amy, for example, actually want to work in a subordinate role for an organization led by senior managers who called her a "Stepford wife"? And show runner-up Kwame Jackson has already received a better job offer from Dallas billionaire Mark Cuban than any offer Mark Burnett or Donald Trump is likely to make.
But stranger things have happened in the name of television ratings, so we won't count Mark Burnett's plan out ... yet.