While NBC initially left The Apprenticeoff its 2007-2008 primetime programming schedule in mid-May, the show's producers and the broadcast network have agreed to bring it back "for at least one more season," two industry sources told Reuters on Friday on the condition of anonymity. The formal announcement of The Apprentice's return -- after it never really left -- is expected to occur at NBC's Television Critics Association summer press tour presentation on July 16, Reuters reported.
However while The Apprentice's renewal is reportedly now all but official, there appears to be some uncertainty as to how many editions it will include.
A person "familiar with the negotiations" between NBC, The Donald's The Trump Organization and The Apprentice executive producer Mark Burnett told Reuters the series would be "renewed for two more years," which could theoretically include multiple seasons. However another source told Reuters that -- in what would appear to be a much more logical scenario for a show that had previously been teetering on the brink of cancellation -- NBC and producers were "close to a deal to bring back the show for a seventh season, with an option to renew it for an eighth installment."
The Apprentice: Los Angeles, the reality franchise's sixth Trump-fronted edition, concluded its broadcast run in April. A few weeks later, NBC -- while being careful to avoid announcing The Apprentice had been outright canceled -- revealed it was leaving the reality series off its 2007-2008 primetime programming schedule. Needless to say, NBC's actions didn't sit too well with The Donald, causing the real-estate mogul to claim he was "moving on" from the network before he could officially be fired.
Following Trump's statement, NBC reiterated it was undecided on what do withThe Apprentice -- at least until reality television producer Ben Silverman was named co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and NBC Universal Television Studio.
Shortly after taking NBC's programming reigns, Silverman asked Trump and Mark Burnett for a one-week extension on the network's option to renew The Apprentice for a seventh season -- a move that came as little surprise given Silverman previously worked with Burnett on The Restaurant, a 2003 NBC reality series that represented Silverman's Reveille production company's first television project.
Although Trump and Burnett agreed to give NBC an additional week to decide whether to exercise its option to order a seventh The Apprentice, the new June 8 deadline passed without any announcement of the show's renewal and NBC publicists did not respond to several subsequent Reality TV World messages inquiring about the option's fate.