Donald Trump is apparently as tired of his presidency as the rest of us, and longs to return to the sweet stupidity of reality television.
According to the Daily Beast, sources close to Trump say he’s been discussing the idea of reviving some version of The Apprentice or The Celebrity Apprentice with producer Mark Burnett after his presidency ends. Whether Trump is voted out, thrown out, or serves another term, the pair reportedly plan to bank on his increased fame as GOP party monster, tentatively titling the project, The Apprentice: White House.
“It is something Burnett thinks could be a money-spinner and Trump is very keen on doing,” said one source, while another implied it’s probably a long-shot: “They actually talked about an Apprentice: White House,” the source said, but added, “as far as I know, the discussion did not go far.”
Burnett and Trump are still close, the sources say. Although Burnett denounced the “hatred, division, and misogyny that has been a very unfortunate part of his campaign” in the wake of the “grab ’em by the pussy” tape, the producer has refused to release unaired show footage rumored to feature Trump using the N-word, calling deaf actress Marlee Matlin “retarded,” and Lil Jon “Uncle Tom.”
In fact, a source says Burnett now considers his coziness with Trump to be among his crowning achievements: “Mark would say, ‘My relationship with the president is incredibly strong. I’m the most powerful person in Hollywood because of it. I could wipe the floor because of it.’ Mark has no shame.”
Burnett’s people denied that Burnett said anything to that effect and that he and Trump have a project in the works. “The quoted statements attributed to Mr. Burnett are absolutely false,” a spokesman told the Daily Beast. “Among other things, the president and Mr. Burnett have not discussed making television shows in any shape or form.”
It’s not clear what, if any, network would want a new Trump show, aside from the one provided free of charge every day. Despite Trump’s obsessive claims that his two programs were among the biggest in TV history, The Celebrity Apprentice ended its run in 2015 ranking 67the among network shows.
Trump and Burnett’s last partnership, the inauguration—for which Burnett tried and failed to lure big-name musical acts—was also an embarrassment, trailing Barack Obama’s first inauguration by 7.2 million viewers, and also pulling lower ratings than those of Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.
Apprentice star Omarosa Manigault Newman, who was briefly a White House aide and has since gone on to detest Trump, confirms that he and Burnett are “truly the best of buds,” but calls the Apprentice: White House idea “so absurd,” saying, “It’s already a reality show.”
Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.
The post Is Trump Plotting His Post-White House Return to Reality TV? appeared first on Los Angeles Magazine.