Original ideas? Who needs them when you can revive “The Apprentice”?
The lousy economy has given NBC a new twist on the show by gathering as many humbling sob stories as possible so viewers will be able to connect with the “Apprentice” Average Joes. The original version died in 2007 after six cycles, quickly losing its steam with tiresome, hubris-filled contestants and boring advertorial-sized challenges. NBC has since subsisted on a celebrity version, now in its third season.
“The Apprentice 2.0″ is coming to Atlanta for open auditions on Wednesday April 7 at the Marriott Buckhead Hotel at 3405 Lenox Road, NE, Atlanta. (Atlanta has had several contestants on the show in the past, though nobody has won.)
Wristbands will be distributed at 8 a.m and interviews begin at 9.a.m. Callbacks are on April 8 and 9.
Here is the press release info:
“The Apprentice” is ready to resume its celebrated search to find the best minds in America at a time when employment opportunities are scarce. People of all ages are encouraged to apply, from the newest college graduates to the more experienced over-40s who have been hard hit by this economy. Whether prospects are recently laid-off, long-term unemployed, a graduate with a daunting job search ahead of them, or simply someone who took a job that is just allowing them to survive the economic downturn, the producers encourage applications.
Prospective executives who feel they have the skills and drive to become “The Apprentice” can apply by either attending one of the program’s nation-wide open calls or by emailing email@example.com. Applicants are encouraged to explain why they should be the next “Apprentice” and include information regarding how the recession has impacted their lives. Also required is a recent photo as well as name, location and occupation history.
I still watch “Celebrity Apprentice,” which is a misnomer since no actual “apprentice” ever gets “hired” by Trump in any way. Rather, it’s a big celebrity charity competition. What makes it work is the interplay among the strange melange of celebrities (Joan Rivers, Cyndi Lauper, Piers Morgan) thrown into various tasks.
Ratings of the original version peaked at 28 million for the finale cycle one in 2004. By the sixth edition, in 2007, just 8 million people bothered to watch, and the show was effectively canceled until Trump and the production company came up with the celebrity version.
Given how poorly NBC has done in recent years, “Celebrity Apprentice” actually survives with just 7 million viewers this season so far Sunday nights. (Darryl Strawberry, former NY Met/Yankee, who said he’s used to sleeping until noon, found the 14-hour days too grueling and basically quit Sunday night. I’m sure the autism charity he was supporting was thrilled to see him do that. The other head-shaking moment was watching former Illinois gov. Rod Blagojevich struggle to use a computer. At least former UGA grad and Falcon Bill Goldberg looks like he’s there to win.)