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Thread: Trump, Fired Apprentice Go Hollywood

  1. #11
    Endlessly ShrinkingViolet's Avatar
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    Here'e another article, which has to continue the Donald and Rosie feud. He's got to be using this as his publicity gimmick for this season's show.

    'The Apprentice' has its work cut out for it in L.A.

    Can Trump's show regain its blockbuster status with a shift to the West Coast?
    By Martin Miller
    Times Staff Writer
    January 7, 2007

    RELOCATING from his show's New York base for the first time, Donald Trump free associates in tonight's opening episode about the new home for the sixth season of "The Apprentice," Los Angeles.

    L.A. is sex, movies and cars, Trump tells his 18 would-be protégés — another stellar collection of Harvard grads, real estate developers and Internet entrepreneurs, who are largely beautiful, sycophantic and backbiting. None of the aspiring Donalds argue with their new boss' take on the city picked to renew interest in the slumping franchise.

    Notably, the quintessential New Yorker left television off his top three City of Angels list — though, clearly, a forceful case could have been made that sex and cars are better represented in other American cities. And given his penchant for bluntness, it's somewhat surprising that smog, traffic and earthquakes didn't crack his list either.

    Maybe if his show regains its blockbuster status, the feat would remind The Donald to at least mention the medium that has probably made him as famous as his real estate or his hair. But even with the West Coast bling and glare, the show faces an uphill struggle to regain its former ratings glory.

    In its first-season finale, "The Apprentice" drew an audience of about 28 million. In steady decline since then, the show attracted just over 11 million viewers with its Season 5 finale in June.

    But any time Trump is in the game, it's hard to count out the captain of industry and self-promotion. Just in time for this season's inaugural show, Trump came out from under his hair to free associate — in this instance with Rosie O'Donnell. Some descriptors for the co-host of "The View" that struck Trump were "fat," "loser" and "disgusting."

    In a media blitz of the entertainment news outlets, Trump blasted O'Donnell for claiming he'd gone bankrupt, was worth millions, not billions, and had somehow been bailed out of trouble by his father's considerable fortune. Trump's wealth, which he won't divulge, is a touchy subject.

    "I'm going to sue Rosie, and it's going to be fun," Trump told a news crew, adding: "Rosie is very lucky to have her girlfriend and she better be careful or I'll send one of my friends over to pick up her girlfriend."

    That's the way The Donald rolls.

    The public Trump-O'Donnell spat is meant to crank up the buzz around the show, which after changing nights for the third time, could use it. Tonight's 90-minute episode begins at 9:30, but thereafter the show will return to its usual time slot at 9 p.m.

    The show's new time on Sundays pits it against the formidable "Desperate Housewives," which like "The Apprentice" scores some of its best ratings in the coveted 18-49 demographic.

    As ever, Trump, in a phone interview, remained confident. "I'm not worried about the 'Housewives,' " he said. "Our audience is young, smart kids of great ambition. We'll be fine."

    Trump admitted his show was hurt by "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart," which aired in fall 2005. The Stewart spinoff performed poorly in the ratings and was not renewed, though network officials maintained it was intended only as a one-season installment anyway.

    "I was never in favor of Martha, but being the wonderful team player I am, I said, 'OK,' " said Trump. "People were so angry that such a piece of garbage would get the name of 'The Apprentice.' That show was a real disaster."

    If Trump's feud with O'Donnell brings viewers into the tent, his show's new twists are meant to keep them there. As if the carrot of a job with Trump weren't enough, the show has a new stick with which to beat its contestants — sleeping in tents.

    A team loss in one of Trump's appointed sales tasks means being banished to the backyard, where the losers must use outdoor showers, portable toilets and tents. Meanwhile, the winning team enjoys the luxury of a mansion off Mulholland Drive.

    "It's so brutal," said Trump. "They are lying out there in the grass, then it rains. It gets real sloppy. Let me tell you after five weeks, it's disgusting and you really want to get into the mansion."

    Far from the backyard muck will be Trump's children, Donald Jr. and Ivanka, who will again be employed by their father. Both Trump progeny attended the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and will make appearances in the dreaded board room where they'll advise their dad when to say, "You're fired."

    But don't get too attached to L.A., said Trump. The show will relocate again, probably to Miami, Las Vegas or Chicago — cities that are rumored to hold their own with L.A., at least in the sex and cars department.
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  2. #12
    Endlessly ShrinkingViolet's Avatar
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    Resign yourself to average 'Apprentice'
    Michael Cooper
    Posted: 1/29/07

    In last week's episode of "The Apprentice," contestant Michelle Sorro resigned because she said the show was not what she had expected when she signed up. Yes, quitting never gets you ahead in business, but she did have a valid point.

    "The Apprentice," which takes place in Los Angeles instead of New York this season, showcases burgeoning business entrepreneurs competing for a job in billionaire Donald Trump's real estate development company, the Trump Organization.

    Suffering from lagging ratings in its most recent seasons, the show's makers were desperate to keep the audience interested. Unfortunately, the changes only diminished the quality of the series this year.

    First, the losing team is forced to sleep outside in tents, which is supposedly a business-related twist because it incites competition between the "haves and the have-nots." Seriously? Each season the show is referred to as a long-term job interview, and while the show was obviously never a traditional job interview in any sense, it seems to be getting further and further away from one this year.

    The team that lost the first task and was forced to live outside has lost many of the succeeding tasks. Perhaps this has to do with lack of sleep, or taking cold showers in freezing weather.

    As for the tasks this season, they not only have nothing to do with real estate, but also have little to do with business. I wasn't aware one of the qualifications of working at the Trump Organization was the ability to design a fashionable bathing suit.

    Another unfortunate change to the show this year is the absence of usual supporting characters, Carolyn Kepcher and George Ross. Trump's children, who have taken their place, are intelligent (and good looking), but they lack the presence and toughness of Kepcher and Ross.

    As usual, however, the contestants' interaction with Trump in the boardroom is as entertaining as ever, and the new L.A. locale has worked so far.

    The season is indeed entertaining, and the contestants all have vibrant, loud personalities - as does Trump himself, of course. If only the show stuck to the basics, season six could have been "The Apprentice's" best yet.
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  3. #13
    Retired! hepcat's Avatar
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    I got a press release in my mailbox about Trump:

    Donald Trump Drops Cash on WWE Fans

    STAMFORD, Conn., January 30, 2007— Last night, at a WWE event in Dallas, Texas billionaire Donald Trump dropped thousands of dollars of cash on the audience. “It was raining money,” said one enthusiastic WWE fan.

    Fan appreciation night was the theme of WWE Monday Night RAW on USA Network (9-11 pm ET/PT). WWE Chairman and fellow billionaire, Vince McMahon, showed his appreciation by presenting one lucky fan in the sold out American Airlines Center with a giant poster of himself, only to be out done and embarrassed by Trump’s generosity. “These two massive egos appear to be on a collision course,” said an anonymous source at USA Network.
    You've gotta hustle if you want to earn a dollar. - Boston Rob

  4. #14
    Endlessly ShrinkingViolet's Avatar
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    I'm surprised that got past a mail spam filter.

    Um, yes. I'd take the money over the poster.

    Trump - 1
    McMahon - 0

  5. #15
    FORT Fogey canadian_angel's Avatar
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    Is this a real collision of egos or a publicity generator? I'm guessing it's the latter, as I can't see anything about the WWE being taken serious.

  6. #16
    gardening geek perennialprince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hepcat;2221105;
    I got a press release in my mailbox about Trump:
    I am ashamed to admit that I actually saw this last night . . . I was in bed, and was clicking through the channels and couldn't find anything to watch, and all of a sudden, there was Donald Trump on the big screen, dollars floating through the air, and Vince McMahon having a hissy fit! They were $50 and $100 bills - hopefully some of those folks in the audience got the price of their tickets back! I could only stomach about 30 seconds, though, and can't really report any more. Maybe the Donald and Vince will be the big feud now, rather than the Donald and Rosie! ugh, Donald is looking for PR in all the wrong places! PP
    it's really perennialprincess, there just wasn't enough space to fit it all in!

  7. #17
    Endlessly ShrinkingViolet's Avatar
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    This is an interesting article about the hassle and red-tape filming the show in LA has caused.

    Apprentice' found more work in L.A.
    By Borys Kit

    Jan 31, 2007

    Last week, Film L.A. reported a decline in Los Angeles-area feature film and commercial production in 2006. But overall location filming still registered a slight increase thanks to a 53% spike in reality TV work. A whopping 41% of all TV production came from reality shows, ranging from such series as the CW's "Beauty and the Geek" to VH1's "The Surreal Life" to MTV's "Pimp My Ride."

    One show epitomizing the boom is NBC's Donald Trump starrer "The Apprentice," which moved from the Big Apple to the City of Angels for its sixth season, rechristening itself "The Apprentice: Los Angeles." However, while reality TV is pumping up the local economy, the Los Angeles area is not always ready to accommodate the particular demands of reality shoots.


    Looking for a vitamin B shot in terms of ratings, "Apprentice" shot episodes all over the Southland, making stops along the way at such businesses as grocery chain Ralphs and fast-food chain El Pollo Loco.

    "New York is not the only big business capital of the world," "Apprentice" exec producer Jay Bienstock said of the decision to head west. "In its own right, it's a huge place of business, and we thought by moving, we could show that Donald has (business all over the country)."

    But the production soon found that shooting in Los Angeles was not exactly a walk in Central Park. In fact, walking was not even on the agenda.

    "New York is a commuter city. You can jump on subway, a train, a cab. But in L.A., it's all cars," Bienstock said. "We found ourselves stuck in traffic all the time. Once, Donald called me up from his car and said, 'Hey we just drove two miles and it took me an hour! Is it always like this?' And I said, 'Yes, it's always like this.' The hardest thing was getting around from point A to point B."

    For the Donald, maybe. The production's more vexing challenges were navigating the labyrinth of permits required by a bureaucracy that played havoc with logistics, especially for the locations department. The complex permitting structure was a surprise to the New Yorkers, who were accustomed to the one-stop shop they have at New York City's Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting, which issues permits for all five boroughs.

    "In L.A., you have different jurisdictions," said Shelly Mittal, a locations coordinator who worked on Seasons 4 and 5 of "Apprentice" in New York before coming to Los Angeles this season. "So if you're filming in West Hollywood, you would go through their film office. If you were in Beverly Hills, you would go through their office. If you were in Santa Monica ..."

    The show's locations team, led by Los Angeles-based Alasdair Boyd, who has worked on such features as "S.W.A.T." and "Bewitched," found that most permitting is set up for larger film and TV units, ones that are have many trailers and trucks and are in one location for a long time.

    "They are not so set up to deal with where you have two passenger vans, a camera on sticks, shooting for one place for 15 minutes or half an hour and then going somewhere else," Boyd said. "It's a very light footprint compared to the normal film process where you are normally in one place for a day or at least half a day."

    In a typical episode of "Apprentice," two teams of aspiring business tycoons are assigned entrepreneurial tasks, which they must execute against a ticking clock. Sometimes, the teams even divide into subgroups; then they must all report to the obligatory boardroom ceremony where someone is fired.

    Finding two mansions -- one to house Trump's boardroom and one for the contestants to live in -- proved to be the easy part. It was when it came time to film the execution of the tasks that the production found it had to be nimble. "Staying one jump ahead of these groups was an interesting experience," Boyd said.

    For instance, the production would start with a particular challenge: The teams would be told they had to market and sell honey at Ralphs. Then the team members would fan out to get posters, find a bear costume or create a honeybee graphic -- ideas they came up with on the spot and only had one day to execute.

    The production quickly found which cities, districts and departments were filmmaker friendly. They included Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, as well as Los Angeles International Airport and FilmL.A.

    But some cities in the region threatened to bury the production in extra crew, by assigning a police officer and fire safety officer.

    "If you're driving through a city and the guys decide to stop and get a burger, strictly speaking you need to permit that and get a fire safety officer and a police officer," Boyd said. "Clearly, that is ludicrous under some circumstances."

    The show found itself missing some of New York's amenities: The city offers its permits for free and also offers "shooting tags" -- permits that allow productions to park in areas for free and not get tickets. Around Los Angeles, the "Apprentice" filming crews often found themselves dropping off the cast and then circling to find a parking space.

    "From a locations perspective, we were spending more money on permits than we did in New York," Mittal said.

    Another issue the "Apprentice" shoot came up against was the various anti-street vending ordinances, which were stricter than those in New York, where vendors can be found on almost any corner selling just about anything.

    Reality TV, while offering mostly nonunion work, with lower pay and longer hours, does appear to be here to stay. And given that it is the format buoying Los Angeles' location shoots, L.A. and its surrounding communities might have to adjust their filming regulations to suit the needs of the reality shows.

    "I would love to see them adjust their permitting procedures to reflect reality TV shows' needs," Boyd says. "For us to continue filming in Los Angeles, we have to integrate the needs of the film community and the community as a whole. No one wants to kill the goose that lays the golden egg."

    Said FilmL.A. president Steve MacDonald: "There are 88 cities in the county, so it is a challenge. If the 88 cities can have similar requirements and similar rules and regulations, that would go a long way toward helping make it more convenient for the industry."
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  8. #18
    Miss Universe HelenHandbasket's Avatar
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    You know, I never really thought about it until I read that article but why would they bother going to LA? Are any more people really going to watch because it's in another city? The challenges (except maybe the tour one) aren't that different. For the sake of branding it makes more sense to stay in the city that Trump is already associated with.

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