Los Angeles Times

NBC Gives Viewers Voice on 'The Apprentice'


NBC has just created the world's largest human resources department.

The network has decided to give fans of "The Apprentice" a chance to weigh in on who they think should win the show's prize of a job working for Donald Trump. In the week leading up to the finale, viewers will be able to vote by phone and online at NBC's web site for their favorite of the two finalists.

Trump will still make the final call, but he says he's "very anxious to see who the fans choose for their favorite finalist -- their decision could have a big effect on my ultimate decision."

"Over the past four seasons of 'The Apprentice', Donald Trump has used the final episode to hire candidates with advice only from George and Carolyn," "Apprentice" creator Mark Burnett says. "This year we thought it would be interesting to discover what America has to say about the candidates, incorporating our fans and viewers as virtual judges."

The fifth "Apprentice" is drawing about 10 million viewers per week in its new Monday home, down some from the 10.77 million who watched the fall edition of the show. Ratings have ticked up, however, as the show has progressed.

NBC has yet to announce a date for the show's finale.

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