Trump battles slump in new season of "Apprentice"

Thu Aug 26, 2010 7:59pm EDT
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The recession has hit America hard, and Donald Trump plans to do something about it on his reality TV series, "The Apprentice."

The 10th season of the Trump-hosted show, premiering September 16 on NBC, will see 16 "economically challenged candidates" competing for a chance to revive their careers, the network said in a statement on Thursday.

For the last three seasons, the show pitted celebrities against each other with rocker Bret Michaels winning the most recent installment in May. But now it is returning to its civilian roots, with the recession adding some intrigue. An NBC spokesman said another celebrity version would premiere midseason.

Trump said in the statement that the new edition will "combine the realities of today's economic downturn with the grittiness, drama and excitement of the original series."

The lineup of "adversely affected" contestants includes a former Florida real estate agent billed as the current Miss Cougar California, a former Miss Los Angeles who quit her "miserable" job as a lawyer, a former publicist for the governor of Georgia, and a New York prosecutor "obsessed with beauty, hair and style secrets."

Series creator Mark Burnett said thousands applied for a slot on the show, but the chosen ones "embody the fighting, can-do spirit that remind us what the American Dream is all about.

(Reporting by Zorianna Kit, editing by Dean Goodman)