NBC will present the exciting conclusion of the premiere season of "The Celebrity Apprentice" with a live season finale originating from New York City on Thursday, March 27th at 9-10 PM ET. As the outrageous season reaches its climactic and surprise conclusion, where one celebrity will be named the first celebrity apprentice, NBC and Donald Trump will bring the show back to 'The Big Apple' for a second season with another all-star celebrity lineup of candidates. The announcement was made today by Craig Plestis, Executive Vice President, Alternative Programming, Development and Specials, NBC Entertainment.
The second season of "The Celebrity Apprentice" will premiere in January of 2009.
In making the announcement, Plestis said, "This revved up installment of "The Apprentice" has been a game changer for the series. As the rest of this season unfolds, you just keep watching, these episodes have been more thrilling than any season before. There were times when I was screaming at the TV set, literally, and the live finale will leave you on the edge of your seat. He added. "We are blown away by the casts drive, energy, and passion to not only play the game but also to raise a lot of money and awareness for important causes. There's no other show like it to prove your business brain and we are already getting calls from high-profile celebrities who want to challenge themselves in Season 2."
"We are so grateful for the ongoing support of NBC and Mark Burnett Productions, and we truly appreciate Gene Simmons' choice to compete on our behalf," said Pamela W. Barnes, president and chief executive officer of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. "Through its emphasis on charitable work and giving back, Celebrity Apprentice has done a great service — and in doing so, helped children and families around the world. We sincerely thank you."
Mark Burnett, Creator and Executive Producer of 'The Celebrity Apprentice' said, "Everywhere I go, people come up to me and ask about 'Celebrity Apprentice.' Viewers are clearly connecting, but beyond the terrific ratings, it's really the charities who are winning the most. Our celebrities have raised over a million dollars to date. We are so glad NBC has decided to continue this franchise."
"Millions of viewers have spoken and made 'Celebrity Apprentice' the #1 show on Thursday nights so far this year. Ben Silverman and his team have done a tremendous job and Mark Burnett and I are thrilled to begin an eighth season of this amazingly successful franchise." Said Donald J. Trump, executive producer of ' The Celebrity Apprentice.'
"We are so grateful to Mr. Trump for his ongoing commitment in the fight against breast cancer." Said Carol Baldwin, for the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund of CNY, Inc.
"The Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research is thrilled to be one of the beneficiaries of NBC's "The Celebrity Apprentice." Not only is the show a unique twist to the great concept of the original "The Apprentice" but it is a real tribute to the show that so many charities have benefited significantly with hundreds of thousands of dollars already donated to worthy causes. We thank Vincent Pastore for playing on our behalf, the $50,000 we received will support life savingresearch for pancreatic cancer."Said Kerri Kaplan, Executive Director, The Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.
"We are grateful to Tito Ortiz for designating St. Jude Children's Research Hospital as his charity of choice as part of `The Celebrity Apprentice,'" said John P. Moses, chief executive officer of ALSAC, the fundraising organization of St. Jude. "We depend upon the generosity of people across this nation who, like Tito, embrace the dream of our founder Danny Thomas — that no child should die in the dawn of life."
The live finale – which will be filmed in front of live studio audience where the final axe will fall – will offer highlights from the series penultimate show where the final two contestants held a celebrity charity auction and managed all aspects of a live concert for a Multi-Platinum, Grammy nominated American Pop Group with each celebrity responsible for different aspects of the event. The finalists, assisted by some former Celebrity Apprentice alumni, race to organize the event, and one calls in a huge favor from a powerful friend, while the other finds nothing but dead ends. In addition to Donald Trump's announcement of the total monies raised for charity, the live event will lead to his first-ever "hiring" of a 'Celebrity Apprentice.'
"The Celebrity Apprentice" is television's #1 Thursday series in adults 18-49 for the first quarter to date, averaging a 3.9 rating, 10 share in adults 18-49 and 9.3 million viewers overall. "The Celebrity Apprentice" is up substantially versus the prior series in the "Apprentice" franchise, "The Apprentice 6," with gains of 15 percent in adults 18-49 (with a 3.9 ratings vs. a 3.4) and 13 percent in total viewers (9.3 million vs. 8.2 million).