NBC made a big headline at its upfront presentation today regarding Donald Trump. Trump took the stage to deliver the news: “After getting so many calls from (top NBC executives), I’ve decided that we are going to continue onward with Celebrity Apprentice. I will not be running for president, as much as I’d like to, and I want to thank everybody very much,” he said. “This will be our 12th season, and I have to say, I love Celebrity Apprentice.” Over the past few months, Trump had been publicly flirting with the idea of running for president. At some point, he mulled announcing his final decision on the season finale of Celebrity Apprentice but then scrapped that idea. Just yesterday, NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said on a conference call that NBC was working on plans to replace Trump on The Apprentice should he decide to run. After Trump’s statement, which drew big applause from the audience of ad buyers, Greenblatt quipped, “Every network wants to make news at its upfront. Try topping that!” UPDATE: At NBC’s lunch after the presentation, I heard that Trump informed NBC brass on Friday that he wanted to come to the upfront. Greenblatt told me that the network executives had a hunch that he might announce that he would stay on The Apprentice but didn’t know for sure until this morning.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.