The Apprentice is an American reality competition television series created by Mark Burnett and produced by Trump Productions LLC which is billed as "The Ultimate Job Interview".
The show stars 16-18 businessmen and businesswomen competing in an elimination-style competition for a one-year, $250,000 starting contract for running one of host and executive producer Donald Trump's companies.
The series premiered in the USA on NBC on 8 January 2004.
The Apprentice premiered in South Africa on SABC3 on Wednesday 29 September 2004, at 19h30. After five seasons on SABC3 the channel lost the rights and the series moved to DStv's M-Net Series channel for the seventh season. It moved to M-Net for Season 9 and began airing on M-Net Series Reality and M-Net Series Zone from Season 12. It moved permanently to M-Net Series Reality from Season 13.
See "Seasons" below for seasonal broadcast dates and times.
The second season of The Apprentice features 18 candidates from all walks of life, including both Ivy League MBA graduates and street entrepreneurs with no college education.
In the first episode, star and executive producer Donald Trump split the candidates into two teams of nine. Each week they endured rigorous business tasks while living together in a hip Manhattan loft apartment.
Prominent Fortune 500 companies were enlisted to participate in many of the tasks. The tasks test their intelligence, chutzpah and street-smarts.
They faced the challenges of living in close quarters and had to complete sometimes humorous, but always difficult, job assignments and were forced to think outside the box in order to outshine each other to get to the top.
The competition and the boardroom drama was taken to the next level during the second season. The candidates faced far more intense tasks and the stakes were much higher.
Donald Trump and his trusted colleagues - George Ross and Carolyn Kepcher - framed each episode, beginning with the task delivery and ending with the climactic boardroom showdown. And, each week, one person heard those dreaded words: "You're Fired!"
As the winner of the competition, Kelly Perdew was granted the dream job of a lifetime with The Trump Organization and a hefty six-figure salary.
Each season begins with a group of contestants with backgrounds in various enterprises, typically including real estate, restaurant management, political consulting, sales, and marketing.
During the show, these contestants live in a communal penthouse, allowing their relationships to build. They are placed into teams and each week are assigned a task and required to select a project manager for the task.
The winning team receives a reward, while the losing team faces a boardroom showdown in order to determine which team member should be "fired" (eliminated from the show).
Elimination proceeds in two stages. In the first stage, all of the losing team's members are confronted. The project manager is asked to select up to three (one, two, or three) of the team members who are believed to be most responsible for the loss.
In the second stage, the rest of the team is dismissed and the project manager and the selected members face a final confrontation in which at least one of the two-to-four is fired.
Trump reserves the right at times to do the following: not allowing the project manager to choose who goes to the boardroom for a final hearing, fire/eliminate any candidate without a final boardroom session if there's enough information to warrant so, and fire multiple people if two or more people are found liable for the weak performance.
Trump also reserved the right to fire all candidates inside the boardroom if all candidates performed badly.
When the final candidates are left an interview process begins, involving executives from various companies who interview each of the finalists and report their assessments of them to the host. After that, a firing takes place.
The final two are then assigned different tasks, along with support teams composed of previously fired candidates. After the tasks are done, a final boardroom occurs, with testimonials from the team members and a last chance for the final two candidates to prove themselves to the target CEO.
Finally, Trump hires one of the two candidates to become the apprentice for the season.
The opening theme music used on the show is "For the Love of Money" by The O'Jays.
Season 01: Bill Rancic
Season 02: Kelly Perdew
Season 03: Kendra Todd
Season 04: Randall Pinkett
Season 05: Sean Yazbeck
Season 06: Stefanie Schaeffer
Season 07: Piers Morgan
Season 08: Joan Rivers
Season 09: Bret Michaels
Season 10: Brandy Kuentzel
Season 11: John Rich
Season 12: Arsenio Hall
Season 13: Trace Adkins
db = double bill
Note: The first five seasons aired on SABC3, after which the channel lost the rights to the show. It was picked up by M-Net Series, beginning with Celebrity Apprentice (Season 7). It moved to M-Net and M-Net HD from Season 9 (Celebrity Apprentice 3). Season 6 did not air in South Africa, nor did Season 10. Episodes were an hour in length for the first seven seasons. Since Season 8 they are two-hour episodes, although M-Net, M-Net Series Reality and M-Net Series Zone air them as one-hour episodes.
Season 1 (14 episodes)
Channel: SABC3 | Premiere: 29 Sep 2004 | Finale: 5 Jan 2005 | Wednesdays, 19h30
Season 2 (15 episodes)
Channel: SABC3 | Premiere: 9 Mar 2006 | Finale: 22 Jun 2006 | Thursdays, 20h31/19h30
Season 3 (17 episodes)
Channel: SABC3 | Premiere: 28 Sep 2006 | Finale: 25 Jan 2007 | Thursdays, 20h31
Season 4 (13 episodes)
Channel: SABC3 | Premiere: 22 Jan 2008 | Finale: 22 Apr 2008 | Tuesdays, 19h30
Season 5 (15 episodes)
Channel: SABC3 | Premiere: 4 Nov 2008 | Finale: 10 Feb 2009 | Tuesdays, 19h30
Season 6 (14 episodes)
Did not air in South Africa
Season 7 (13 episodes)
Channel: M-Net Series | Premiere: 8 Jan 2010 | Finale: 2 Apr 2010 | Fridays, 19h00
Season 8 (11 episodes)
Channel: M-Net Series | Premiere: 23 Jul 2010 | Finale: 1 Oct 2010 | Fridays, 19h30
Season 9 (11 episodes)
Channel: M-Net | Premiere: 5 Dec 2011 | Finale: 13 Feb 2012 | Mondays, 20h30
Season 10 (13 episodes)
Did not air in South Africa
Season 11 (25 episodes)
Channel: M-Net | Premiere: 27 Feb 2012 | Finale: 9 Apr 2012 | Mon-Thu, 18h00
Season 12 (29 episodes)
Channel: M-Net | Premiere: 4 Jul 2013 | Finale: 16 Aug 2013 | Mon-Fri, 18h30
Channel: MS Reality | Premiere: 3 Sep 2013 | Finale: 11 Oct 2013 | Weekdays, 22h30
Channel: MS Zone | Premiere: 20 Nov 2013 | Finale: 16 Dec 2013 | Mon-Thu, 18h30 (db)
Season 13 (22 episodes)
Channel: MS Reality | Premiere: 3 Mar 2014 | Finale: 1 Apr 2014 | Weekdays, 19h30