There will be no Celebrity Apprentice this season because NBC needs more time to find the right person to take over as host. Donald Trump is most definitely out, and NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt tells us he could "absolutely" see a female host stepping in.
One name that's been rumored to be in the running is Amal Clooney (human rights attorney and wife of some guy named George). However, NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke tells E! News, "I don't think that's accurate." NBC isn't ready yet to name any names in contention.
What is known for sure is that Trump will not be returning. Ever.
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"Absolutely not," chairman Robert Greenblatt told reporters when asked if Trump could ever make his way back in.
"We will not be producing a new edition of the show this season, but it will be back for the 2016/2017 season, with a new host," Greenblatt told reporters at the Television Critics Association Press Tour of the long-running reality show.
"At the moment, we're sort of separated," Greenblatt said of Trump, adding that NBC is almost done selling off its interest in the Miss USA pageant.
Finding a replacement so far has not proven easy. "We're always looking for a host of that show who's going to make noise and be a big personality," Greenblatt said. "There's a few people out there who fit that bill. 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 what he says, he says it without any kind of filter."
Greenbatt added that from a production standpoint, NBC and Mark Burnett never really had any issues with Trump, calling him a "lovely guy" and "very much a collaborator."
In June, NBC said it was severing ties with Trump after his controversial campaign-announcement comments about immigrants. NBC dropped the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageant broadcasts and said it was working toward ending its co-ownership with Trump on the franchises.
"At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values. Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump," NBC said in a statement. "To that end, the annual Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants, which are part of a joint venture between NBC and Trump, will no longer air on NBC. In addition, as Mr. Trump has already indicated, he will not be participating in Celebrity Apprentice on NBC."
(E! and NBC are part of the NBC Universal family.)