Business mogul Donald Trump has officially announced that he plans to run for President in 2016. So, what does that mean for the future of his NBC reality TV show, "Celebrity Apprentice"?
The 69-year-old business man announced a presidential bid at a press conference in New York on Tuesday, confirming that he plans to use his time to campaign rather than work on the long-running series. However, with Trump vying for the Oval Office, it may be too unethical for NBC to let him continue as the host.
Trump has hosted every season of the popular show, which wrapped up its seventh season of "Celebrity Apprentice" (and Season 14 of "The Apprentice" overall) in February, crowning Leeza Gibbons the winner over Geraldo Rivera. With months to go before Trump would throw his name into consideration for the most powerful position in the world, many fans believed it was just a matter of time before production on Season 15 of the show began. However, NBC is now saying it may have to "re-evaluate" the show's future.
"We will re-evaluate Trump’s role as host of 'Celebrity Apprentice' should it become necessary, as we are committed to this franchise," the network said (via The Hollywood Reporter).
So, it looks like a Season 15 of "Celebrity Apprentice" is happening, the only thing that is in question is whether or not the presidential candidate will be a part of it. As Deadline points out, the show brings in decent enough ratings to remain a profitable property for the peacock network. However, given that NBC would be required to give all presidential candidates equal screen time, allowing him to continue as the show's host would be tricky to say the least.
One possible solution would be to allow Trumps children, Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump to continue with the show in their father's absence. After all, they've each appeared numerous times as guest judges and mentors on the reality competition. It seems like the folks at NBC simply have to play the waiting game to see how far this presidential run actually goes before they start making final decisions about the fate of "Celebrity Apprentice" Season 15.