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Trivia / The Apprentice

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  • Adored by the Network: An example where it, much like the Disney/ABC version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and NBC's own Deal or No Deal, actively worked to the show's detriment. After the first season was a major ratings success, NBC pushed for more seasons really quickly, and ended up broadcasting five seasons in a little over two years. This rapidly alienated most of the viewers, and the much-mocked Martha Stewart season combined with the absolutely disastrous Los Angeles season helped kill off the show's audience. The Celebrity Apprentice instalments have fared respectably well in the ratings, though a brief attempt at resurrecting the original format in late 2010 bombed hard.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • According to Adam Carolla, when Michael Andretti bottled out of being the project manager for a car-related task during Celebrity Apprentice 5, the producers fed the men's team misinformation to guarantee that they would lose the task, then not so subtly implied that Adam would be safe so long as he brought Michael back to the final boardroom. Adam refused to play their game and flat-out told Trump to just fire him, which Trump did... before firing Michael anyway.
    • When they were creating the British version of the show, the BBC decided that allowing multiple firings would be "too sensationalistic" and so set the series up with a strict "one firing per week" rule that the very format of the series itself made impossible to break. However, the flaw of this rule was exposed with the catering task in the second season, in which three people all made massive mistakes that led to the team losing over £800, but Sir Alan Sugar was only allowed to fire the team leader. Then, a few episodes after that, another candidate (Tuan) nearly had to withdraw because of food poisoning, which led to the producers realizing that they hadn't taken into account how to deal with a Non-Gameplay Elimination. As a result of all this, multiple firings were allowed from the third season onwards.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • "Siralan" or "Surallan" for Sir Alan Sugar, as he was known prior to Junior Apprentice. Has continued to be used by fans, since "Lord Sugar" doesn't really have the same ring.
    • The Guardian coined "Lady Ribenaberet" for Lucinda Ledgerwood.
    • Series 7 has "Jedi Jim", after a You're Fired sequence compared his ability to persuade another candidate to change his mind and not bring him back into the boardroom to a Jedi Mind Trick. The nickname stuck with fans and has gone on to become a popular hashtag on Twitter.
    • "Cafe d'Espair" or "Cafe del Fail" for the Greasy Spoon to which defeated teams are sent.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: On You're Fired, by panellist Katherine Ryan:
    I feel like [Mark and Daniel] should kiss.
    • Richard and Charleine from Series 11, who were constantly at odds. The final episode hilariously had them
  • Foiler Footage: Every single one of the contestants is filmed doing a "walk of shame" out to the cab in case they're fired. This includes the eventual winner, of course.
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  • Franchise Zombie: The show has had declining ratings for years but thanks to one Ben Silverman continued to get renewed up to 2017. Ratings had stabilized since the introduction of the Celebrity Apprentice format, though — in fact, the fourth celebrity edition actually managed an increase in ratings compared to the third.
  • Name's the Same: Do not confuse Season 3's "Quitter", Verna Felton, with the late actress who played Cinderella's Fairy Godmother, the Queen of Hearts, Aunt Sarah, Merryweather, or other roles in Disney films like Dumbo and The Jungle Book.
  • The Other Frances: As of 2008, Frances had been played by at least three actresses.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: "For The Love Of Money" by The O'Jays on the Trump US version, "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" by Music/Eurythmics on the Martha Stewart version, and Sergei Prokofiev's "Dance of the Knights" on the UK version.
  • Role-Ending Misdemeanor: Trump was fired from the show by NBC following his remarks early in his successful 2016 presidential campaign that some illegal immigrants from Mexico were "bringing in crime [and] rapists."
  • Similarly Named Works: In the 'buy ten items' challenge in UK Series 6, one of the items was a 'Bluebook'. Synergy spent a large portion of the challenge trying to find a copy of an old American military publication. What they actually needed was the London taxi drivers' guide.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: While the trope is par for the course with reality shows, it's particularly pronounced with pre-2008 episodes of the US and UK editions, with the Great Recession having wiped out a good chunk of the businesses that the candidates were either advertising for (in the US version) or trying to sell products to (in the UK version) during those episodes.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The original intention was that Trump would come up with a situationally-appropriate phrase whenever he sent a candidate home. However, the one he chose when dismissing a candidate for the first time just happened to be "you're fired," and the show's producers decided it'd make a great catchphrase to the show. The original idea would later be used in a fashion for the Martha Stewart season, where she did have a main catchphrase ("you just don't fit in"), but also ad-libbed several of her own over the season.
    • Richard Branson and Philip Green were both approached as potential hosts for the UK version, but Branson didn't have enough time in his schedule, while negotiations with Green fell apart over the issue of promoting his retail brands on the show — Product Placement not being permitted on BBC shows — leading to the producers going with Alan Sugar instead.
    • The second season of the UK show nearly saw one candidate, Tuan, forced to withdraw after suffering from food poisoning. Fortunately he persevered and made a relatively quick recovery, but it led to the producers realizing that if a candidate ever suffered a Non-Gameplay Elimination, it would end up resulting in them not being able to have anyone fired that week, potentially letting someone off for a complete disaster of a task.note 
    • In the twelfth season of the US show, IndyCar driver Marco Andretti was originally one of the candidates. He withdrew before taping began following the death of fellow driver Dan Wheldon at the season finale in Las Vegas (a race he was in, being one of the 20 drivers who was not involved in the lap 11 multicar wreck that took Wheldon's life, out of a field of 34). Coupled with a death on his mother's side of the family, his father Michael (who also owns the team he races for, Andretti Autosport) substituted for him, joining in the middle of the season premiere's task.
  • The Wiki Rule: Here.


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