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.
Nine brilliant book worms with college degrees and nine versatile entrepreneurs armed with only a high school diploma will enter the boardroom to kick off the third season of The Apprentice.
Who will succeed and who will fail? Gone is the battle of the sexes, front and center is "book smarts" against "street smarts," theory vs. practicality.
"For the third season of The Apprentice, Mark Burnett (Creator & Executive Producer) and I have decided to take the series into a new realm," said Donald Trump, Executive Producer.
"We wanted to see what would happen if we pitted college grads ("book smarts") against high school grads ("street smarts"). The result makes for fascinating television. Who will you root for? You'll also discover that we chose candidates who are more relatable - along the lines of Sam, Troy and Amy."
Trump's trusted advisors, George Ross and Carolyn Kepcher will both return for a third season. Tasks will once again revolve around some of the biggest companies in the world and the weekly rewards will be better than Season II.
As the winner of the competition, the third apprentice will be granted a job with The Trump Organization and a six-figure salary.
The Apprentice is produced by Mark Burnett Productions in association with Trump Productions LLC. Mark Burnett, Donald Trump and Jay Bienstock are executive producers. Conrad Riggs and Kevin Harris are co-executive producers.
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