Monday, December 27, 2004

Reality TV update: 'Apprentice' and 'Real World'


Move over, Mosaic. Out of the way, Apex. Here comes Magna and Networth, the latest squads to do Donald Trump's bidding on the third go-round of NBC's "The Apprentice," which premieres Jan. 20.

This time, it's about education and experience. With only high school diplomas in hand, street smarts team Networth will battle book smarts team Magna in various tasks involving companies such as Burger King, Home Depot, Domino's and Nescafe.

There are some striking distinctions in the 18 cast members compared with the previous Apprentices. There are more older candidates (the oldest is 41), more candidates with children (at least three are parents), more candidates with real estate experience (at least six) and no Ivy League graduates.

Details are starting to emerge about the participants, despite NBC's efforts. Two are from Seattle: Verna, 31, a business manager, and Alex, 29, a prosecutor. Both are part of team Magna. (See more details.)

In other reality show news, "The Real World" will head to Austin, Texas, for its 16th season. Other contenders had included Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Denver, "somewhere in Montana" and Sydney, Australia.

"We've been thinking about Austin for a long time," co-creator and executive producer Jon Murray said. "It's a great college town. It's a great music town. It's just a really young place. People go to college there and just don't want to leave."

The show brings together seven strangers between the ages of 18 and 24 to live in a swanky loft or house and films them around the clock, at home and on the town. The show spent its seventh season in Seattle.