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'The Apprentice' to feature post-show updates on fired contestants


By Reality TV World staff, 09/14/2010 

The Apprentice will feature a slightly different format than viewers are used to this fall.

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Due to the season's recession theme, this fall's non-celebrity revival of The Apprentice will include updates on how the competition's fired contestants -- who were all unemployed or underemployed when the reality show was filmed this summer -- are currently doing.

"We are planning an update of what happened after The Apprentice for a lot of these people so we can get a sense of you know [how] those who didn't succeed in winning The Apprentice [are doing]," executive producer Mark Burnett told Reality TV World during a recent media conference call with The Apprentice star Donald Trump.  "How they went on and how they got themselves back in the workforce."

The updates will be "dropp[ed] in throughout the season," according to Burnett.

Like the show's prior non-celebrity editions, the contestants will be executing tasks and competing to win a $250,000 job in  Trump's The Trump Organization.  But rather than receiving reward trips, each task's winning project manager will be rewarded with a one-on-one meeting with some of America's best-known business leaders and CEOs -- an opportunity Burnett and Trump claim has been "very, very helpful" for the season's losing contestants.

"We're not going to be necessarily showing all of these interviews because we don't know that it would be great to show and maybe it's very personal," Trump told Reality TV World.  "But we have heard back that some of them have really resulted in a very positive situation for the contestant."

However Burnett insisted the new season's aspirational slant doesn't mean Trump will suddenly be going soft on the contestants.

"Really, it's the same Apprentice exactly [as before] with the difference [being] the reward," Burnett told reporters.  "The actual core of the show is the same show. It's not a show where Donald Trump suddenly gives them a hug every five minutes, and a pat on the back."

According to Burnett, NBC and The Apprentice's producers decided to cast the season -- which was originally announced as also being open to already happily employed contestants as well, despite its recession theme -- exclusively with unemployed and underemployed contestants after interviewing the applicants.

"I mean it comes down to stories and it comes down to what's going to make the best tone out of the series.  And everybody on the show either had lost their job or they were actually taking a job, as we said, like mechanical engineer who has a master of science degree [and] took a job as a tow truck driver," he told Reality TV World.  

"[We had all of] these kind of through line stories as we were going to choose 16 people and so that's really where it came from.  Ideally we were going to end up with everybody who had lost their jobs, but some people who had just had changed jobs because of the economy and you know were maybe making 20% of what they were making in the past."

The Apprentice's non-celebrity revival will premiere on NBC on Thursday, September 16 at 9PM ET/PT with a specail two-hour premiere.

(Photo credit NBC)


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