Arnold Schwarzenegger is hoping his turn at bat on the NBC series “The Celebrity Apprentice” will be judged on the merit of the show and not the shadow of its former host -- the man who will soon be the United States’ 45th president.
"I hope everyone chills and just sees the show for what it is,” Schwarzenegger told The Hollywood Reporter.
Donald Trump will step into the White House on Jan. 20, but “Celebrity Apprentice” will premiere Jan. 2. There's been buzz about Trump retaining an executive producer credit on the NBC show.
The Governator said the uproar about Trump's executive producer credit is only good for the series.
"I come from a marketing mentality, and the most important thing is that every American knows this show is coming on," he said.
The 69-year-old former California Governor told THR he reached out to his CAA agent when Trump left the series.
"It seemed like he was going to do that for another 4,000 years," Schwarzenegger said, adding, "I always thought it would be interesting to sit there, but I never thought it would happen."
For 14 seasons at the helm, Trump’s most recent season on “Apprentice” delivered an impressive 2.4 rating among adults 18 to 49 and almost 8 million viewers – and that was prior to the spotlight the show now has beaming on it.
“Apprentice” is currently building anticipation and buzz by keeping the new catch phrase -- set to replace the signature “You’re fired”-- very tight lipped.
"We narrowed it down to like eight of my sayings from the movies and one other option, but even I don't know yet," says Schwarzenegger.
In a tweet from Trump’s adviser Kellyanne Conway on Dec. 10, a suggestion was made that the President-elect would make an appearance on the show. Trump vehemently denied the idea.