Donald Trump will be firing more stars next year when “Celebrity Apprentice” returns for another round.
NBC announced Wednesday that it’s rehiring Trump for a ninth season of the reality series, scheduled to air in spring 2010.
Production is expected to begin this fall, when 16 yet-to-be-named celebrities meet and compete in business-oriented challenges. All but one will eventually hear Trump tell them, “You’re fired!”
Although none of the celebrities for the forthcoming “Apprentice” was identified, deals already are in place with “a couple” of them, Trump said.
The news came as the show’s current season heads into its home stretch. Country music’s Clint Black, poker champ Annie Duke, former “Monster Garage” host Jesse James, Playboy pinup Brande Roderick and comedian Joan Rivers remain in contention. The finale will air May 10.
The series draws an average of 8.6 million viewers each week.
“I’ve learned from it,” said Trump, who premiered the original “The Apprentice” in 2004. “I’ve learned watching what people do under pressure. I love to see how people react under great stress.”
For example, he marveled at the eruption by Joan Rivers on last week’s show after her daughter, Melissa, was fired.
Blasting the players who allegedly had plotted her daughter’s downfall, Rivers called Roderick a “stupid blonde” and Duke a “white trash” poker player.
“That was an interesting reaction,” Trump said. “I thought Joan would be much different than that.”
Trump back in ‘View’
Speaking of Donald Trump, he’s booked to appear next Tuesday on Barbara Walters’ daytime show “The View” to promote a book and the “Celebrity Apprentice” season finale.
He hasn’t been on the daytime talk show since he got in the middle of Rosie O’Donnell’s ugly exit as co-host two years ago. He told reporters that Walters had said that she was happy O’Donnell had been fired, which Walters denied publicly.
The two mended fences when Trump appeared on Walters’ satellite radio show a few weeks ago.
Forecast: More Roker
There’s a 100 percent chance that Al Roker will join The Weather Channel as host of a new morning program.
Roker, who remains the weathercaster on NBC’s “Today” show, will be on the air an hour earlier each weekday for the Weather Channel’s “Wake Up With Al.”
The network says the show will originate from New York and Atlanta, where Roker’s co-host, Weather Channel meteorologist Stephanie Abrams, is based.
“Wake Up With Al” will air from 6 to 7 a.m. Eastern time starting this summer.
New ‘TRL’ for MTV?
MTV is betting on a British model to be the centerpiece of a program to fill the void left by “Total Request Live.”
Alexa Chung, a 25-year-old model and British TV host, will front an hourlong program each weekday that mixes celebrity talk, music and interaction with viewers by computer.
It’s the most important of nine new shows that MTV is rolling out in coming months. The network has slumped in the ratings and hasn’t had a show that’s the centerpiece of pop culture since “Total Request Live” faded and finally shut down last November.
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