The Apprentice is an American reality game show that judges the business skills of a group of contestants. It is closely associated with real estate magnate, businessman, and television personality, Donald Trump, who hosted 14 seasons of the show from its inception in January 2004 until 2015. The show is broadcast on NBC. It was created by the British-born American television producer Mark Burnett. Billed as "The Ultimate Job Interview", the show features sixteen to eighteen business people who compete over the course of a season, with usually one contestant eliminated per episode. The original prize for the first six seasons was a one-year, $250,000 starting contract to run one of Trump's companies. Each episode typically ended with Trump eliminating one of the contestants with the words, "You're fired" (which has become a locution of both the program and Trump).
After six seasons of The Apprentice, a new format was introduced: The Celebrity Apprentice. The celebrity series generally follows the same premise as the original, but with celebrities as contestants participating to win money for their chosen charities, rather than winning a job opportunity. There have been seven seasons of The Celebrity Apprentice since 2008. In 2010, a seventh (and the most recent) season of the original Apprentice was aired in between Celebrity seasons. There have been a combined 14 seasons of Trump's Apprentice.
Another season of The Celebrity Apprentice is planned to air sometime in 2016-17. In the United States, federal campaign laws require that television stations give all candidates for a particular office equal time. Since Trump announced his candidacy for the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the new season of Celebrity Apprentice will be hosted instead by actor, politician, and businessman Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The U.S. series originated a franchise of international television shows collectively known as The Apprentice, which has had over 20 local versions. The series also spawned another U.S. series, The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, featuring lifestyle mogul Martha Stewart, which ran for one season in 2005.