July 26, 2004 -- MATT and Ben want to be just like The Donald.
A new Spike TV cable show called "American Start-Up," produced by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, will give eight wannabe entrepreneurial businesses — some with several staffers — a shot at making their dream businesses come to life.
It's a concept somewhat like Donald Trump's "The Apprentice" — but with a twist.
"What sold us on the show is that most people don't want to work for Donald Trump," said Peilin Chou, head of Spike TV development. "They want to be Donald Trump," she said.
"We've found that a very common dream with guys is have is to have their own businesses and be their own bosses," says Chou, as to why the show fits into the schedule of a network geared towards men. She added though, that women will have an equal shot at becoming contestants for the show.
Unlike Trump, neither Affleck nor Damon is expected to make an on-camera appearance on "American Start-Up."
Damon and Affleck are sort-of pioneers of reality TV. They've produced the behind-the-scenes indie-film themed show "Project Greenlight," which jumps from HBO to Bravo this year, and are producing a fashion-themed version called "Project Runway" next season.
— Don Kaplan