NBC left "The Apprentice" off its 2007-08 schedule last week, and now it appears Donald Trump is moving on as well.
In a statement released Friday to Reuters, Trump says he is "moving on from 'The Apprentice' to a major new TV venture," which would seem to indicate the show's sixth season, which ended in April, was its last.
When the network announced its lineup for next season at last week's upfronts, "The Apprentice" was conspicuous by its absence. At the time, NBC Entertainment president Kevin Reilly said the issue was one of finding a place on the schedule.
"Donald still wants to do the show, [executive producer] Mark [Burnett] still wants to do the show; we just couldn't find the right spot for it," Reilly said. "We're going to regroup after everyone announces their schedule, look at everything in context and then make a decision about it."
Reilly said that NBC and the show's producers had until June 1 to strike a deal to bring the series back. With his statement, however, Trump has walked away from the show.
"It looks like viewers will have to wait to see what Mr. Trump plans for the future," the statement says. "But if Mr. Trump's past TV success is any indication of the future, then one can anticipate that millions of 'Apprentice' fans will be migrating to his new venture."
After debuting to big ratings in 2004 -- it averaged better than 20 million viewers in its first season -- the show declined significantly in its most recent incarnations. The latest season, which was set in Los Angeles, drew only 7.5 million viewers per week.
NBC still has deals in place to air the Trump-owned Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times