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Arnold Schwarzenegger to replace Donald Trump as ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ host

The action movie star and former California Governor will take over for Donald Trump on NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" in 2016.

The action movie star and former California Governor will take over for Donald Trump on NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice” in 2016.

(Casey Curry / Invision/AP)

Movie star and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has been named the new host of NBC’s “The Celebrity Apprentice,” the network said Monday.

Schwarzenegger replaces real estate magnate and Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump, with whom NBC parted ways in June. In separating, the network cited Trump’s presidential run, but more pointedly, the candidate’s derogatory comments on immigrants.

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The former governor will take over his new reality show post sometime during 2016-2017 television season, said NBC officials. The network provided no specific date for the transition.

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“I have always been a huge fan of ‘The Celebrity Apprentice’ and the way it showcases the challenges and triumphs of business and teamwork,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement.

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Though NBC won’t have to worry about controversial stances on immigration, seeing as Schwarzenegger himself is an Austrian immigrant, he does suffer from a complicated history with the opposite sex. His highly publicized affair with a housekeeper, which produced a child, became front page news and ruined his political future.

As for Trump, he seems thrilled at the thought of Schwarzenegger taking his place and expressed as much on Twitter, saying, “Congrats to my friend @Schwarzenegger who is doing next season’s Celebrity Apprentice. He’ll be great & will raise lots of $ for charity.”

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While certain to be an initial ratings boon for the series, it remains to be seen whether even an movie action hero and ex-state politician can revive the sagging reality competition franchise.

Despite averaging 7.6 million viewers last season, the series’ highest ratings since 2012, “The Apprentice” is not, actually, the No. 1 show on television, despite what Trump might claim.

Follow Ryan Faughnder on Twitter for more entertainment business coverage: @rfaughnder


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