NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt downplayed the network’s severed relationship with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump Thursday, when announcing Celebrity Apprentice will return, just not for the upcoming season.
Speaking at the Television Critics’ Association press tour in Beverly Hills, CA, Greenblatt confirmed NBC is currently searching for Trump’s replacement on the reality TV competition show.
“We’re obviously looking for a host of that show that will make noise and will be a big personality,” Variety reports the network chair said. “There are a few people out there that fit that bill.”
He also stated a return date for the show has not been set, but did rule out the possibility of 2015-2016 season comeback.
In June, it was rumored NBC was specifically considering a number of minority candidates to take over the show, in order to make a “powerful statement” against Trump’s stance on illegal immigration.
While Greenblatt didn’t rule out Trump’s chances of winning the GOP nomination, and ultimately, the White House Thursday, he did make it clear the billionaire New Yorker could build a relationship with NBC, but would never return to “Apprentice.”
“I don’t think somebody who is running for President and might possibly be the next leader of the free world should be banned from activity with NBC… At the moment, we’re sort of separated.”
Greenblatt then praised Trump for being professional during his time with the network, saying, “There were no controversies.”
“He worked really closely with Mark Burnett. It was a congenial, really great relationship,” he added.
Greenblatt also weighed in on Donald’s success in resonating with Republican voters, and described him as “effusive.”
“I guess people are just, in the political world, looking for somebody who just speaks their mind, regardless of anything else. He does that. Whether you agree with anything he says, he says it without any kind of filter…there’s probably something refreshing about that… I think at some point, you have to look at the message.”
“The world likes a star, and he’s a star,” Greenblatt said.