As if the announcement that NBC would be adopting exiled, mad-as-hell-and-not- going-to be-manipulated-by-deceptively-adorable- gay-puppetmasters-anymore Grey's Anatomy doctor Isaiah Washington into the Peacock Family wasn't enough to tantalize the TV scribes huddled at today's Television Critics Association event, new network "cool dad" Ben Silverman will soon reveal that he's welcoming prodigal son Donald Trump, who's recently been busying himself with creating the world's finest, most luxurious line of buttocks-pampering office chairs, back into the clan. Reports TVWeek.com's TCA blog:
Silverman checks out the presentation ballroom, where he says he'll shortly announce a celebrity edition of "The Apprentice." The celebrities will play for charity, 13 episodes have been ordered for midseason (only 13, he explains, to keep the time-commitment demands modest for the celebrities, but surely the show's middling performance last season likely plays a factor too).
Silverman said he approached producer Mark Burnett and star Donald Trump with the idea. Trump immediately embraced it, though Burnett was tad reluctant. The producer has avoiding doing celebrity editions of his key shows in the past, but Silverman convinced him that "now is the time."
As for which celebrities will participate, Silverman said one of the first calls he made was to the staff of "The Office," which he produces. The idea of actors who play office workers on TV competing with business tasks in real life had its appeal.
While the more cynical among us might suspect that Silverman's "now is the time" pitch involved hourly deliveries of burlap sacks full of reluctance-easing cash to Burnett's office, we're inclined to believe that Trump's genuine enthusiasm for this not-at-all-desperate twist on the Apprentice formula was the deciding factor in the series' return. Even though it seemed clear during the show's flagging Los Angeles season that the billionaire host was no longer becoming aroused by his once-stimulating termination games, Trump is confident that the opportunity to publicly humiliate America Ferrara, already suffering through the indignity of being blackmailed into participation by old Ugly Betty boss Silverman, will restore his legendary boardroom potency.