NBC isn’t responsible for making Donald Trump’s campaign successful by making him famous in the first place with its “The Apprentice” series, or at least that’s what NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt is saying.
Greenblatt made the remarks during Tuesday’s Television Critics press tour in Beverly Hills when asked by a reporter if NBC had considered its pivotal role in making Trump a celebrity.
“We were happy to have a show that was doing really well with a guy that was a big TV star,” Greenblatt answered. “It’s impossible to figure out where he goes from there. I think it surprised all of us that he wanted to do this, but I guess that’s what’s great about this country.”
Greenblatt referred to the 1951 comedy film “Bedtime for Bonzo” in making President Ronald Reagan famous. He also cited that “Doonesbury” cartoonist Garry Trudeau predicted Trump would run for president about 15 years ago — before “Apprentice” aired.
“I don’t think there is too much of a correlation between [Trump’s celebrity from ‘The Apprentice’] and [and his successful campaign],” the chairman continued. “And I think he has been a popular figure for so many years.”
NBC had renewed “Celebrity Apprentice” last year for an eighth season, a 15th season if you count the entire “Apprentice” run. Last season, in which on-air personality Leeza Gibbons triumphed, “Celebrity Apprentice” averaged 7.6 million viewers — its best run since 2012.
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