'The Apprentice' launches in 6 weeks on Star World

MUMBAI: The latest acquisition by Star India, The Apprentice, launches on Star World, in six weeks.


The NBC produced reality series that tests competitors' survival techniques in New York City's corporate jungle, is touted as the big ticket show of Star World this season. The acquisition was done in Hong Kong just 10 days ago, and Star India senior vice president marketing and communications, Ajay Vidyasagar says the channel is still undecided about the time slot it would be allotted. Despite earlier shows like Joe Millionaire which failed to make a mark on Indian television despite having been a big hit in the US, Star World is gung ho about the viewership success of The Apprentice.

"The real case study it offers, the business aspect of the show has a high potential to connect with Indian viewers," opines Vidyasagar. Real brains count in this reality show, where the finalist who survives the other contenders lands a $250,000-a-year job in Trump's business empire.

The show first aired in the US in January 2004, raking in over 20 million viewers each episode. The live finale was on 15 April. Even Sony Pictures realised its potential, preferring to preview the Spider Man II trailer, an unconventional two and half minute long teaser with never before footage, during one of The Apprentice's episodes this April.

The series has since been taken up for adaptation by BBC2, where the multi millionaire behind Amstrad, Sir Alan Sugar, replaced Donald Trump.

NBC and executive producer Mark Burnett (Survivor) teamed up for The Apprentice, a 17-episode series in which candidates vie for the chance to become an "apprentice" to a "master." During the first, second, and third seasons of The Apprentice,legendary business tycoon Donald Trump served as the "master" and his business empire, The Trump Organization, was the hub of the competition.

According to reports, NBC has already announced that The Apprentice 2, the sequel to its hit reality competition series starring Donald Trump, will premiere September 9. In addition to featuring the return of Donald Trump, his associates Caroline Kepcher and George Ross, and 18 new contestants (an increase from the original season's 16), Apprentice 2 will also see the return of first season Apprentice winner Bill Rancic, who will substitute for George during two of the episodes. 

Trump's weekly bad-news announcement to the losing competitor -- "You're fired!" -- has become such a catchphrase the New York real-estate baron tried to trademark it. NBC went a step ahead by getting official merchandise for The Apprentice on sale, with the phrase "You're Fired!" now appearing on t-shirts, tank tops, hats and mugs.

Star must be hoping the series comes up trumps, but will India also be fired up by this phenomenon?

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