It is going down to the wire for NBC‘s veteran reality show The Celebrity Apprentice, which was not renewed or cancelled last May and is yet to get official word on its fate. According to NBC, casting for a potential new cycle is already under way. “We are on track to produce The Celebrity Apprentice as always planned, coordinating among New York City weather conditions, sponsor needs, and celebrities’ schedules,” NBC’s head of alternative Paul Telegdy said. NBC has some leeway with production as Celebrity Apprentice, if picked up, likely won’t launch until after the Winter Olympics. The Donald Trump-starring series debuted at the beginning of March last season.
ABC‘s Red Widow arguably had the biggest marketing campaign of any midseason series, including plum spots during the network’s Oscar broadcast last Sunday. For all that promotional blitz, the two-hour premiere of the mob drama fell short, extending the underwhelming track record of this year’s crop of broadcast midseason replacements. Red Widow drew a 1.4/4 among adults 18-49 from 9-11 PM and 6.9 million viewers. That was down 36% from last midseason’s debut of GCB and this fall’s opener for 666 Park Avenue. Both Sunday 10 PM ABC dramas had hourlong premieres and both have been cancelled. On the bright side, Red Widow saw very little audience erosion throughout its two-hour debut, indicating a possible future cult following. Leading into Red Widow was Once Upon a Time (2.1/6), which didn’t benefit from the Oscar exposure either, down 13% from its last original two weeks ago to a series low.
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – January 13, 2012 – NBC will move the season premiere of “The Celebrity Apprentice” back one week to Sunday, February 19 (9-11 p.m. ET) from its previously announced debut of Sunday, February 12 (9-11 p.m. ET). An original two-hour episode of “Fear Factor” will now be broadcast on Sunday, February 12 (9-11 p.m. ET).
In addition, “Harry’s Law” will return on March 11 (8-9 p.m. ET). It was previously scheduled to resume March 4 (8-9 p.m. ET).
NBC also will broadcast a one-hour version of the previous week’s “The Celebrity Apprentice” prior to the series’ original episode on Sunday, February 26 (8-9 p.m. ET) and again on Sunday, March 4 (8-9 p.m. ET).
Donald Trump has been tapped to moderate an upcoming Republican presidential candidate debate sponsored by online news site Newsmax and to be broadcast on ION Television. The debate, set for December 27 in Des Moines, Iowa, will be the final one before the critical Iowa Caucus on January 3 and should feature the full GOP field. (There have been so many GOP debates it’s difficult to picture one being more important than another, but the timing of this one at least appears relevant.) Of course Trump, hailed as “a truly great American” in the release announcing the debate lineup, briefly flirted with seeking the Republican nomination for president himself before finally backing off during May’s upfronts, when he announced he was staying on as host of NBC’s The Celebrity Apprentice instead.