Grrr! 'The Apprentice' Problem

Summer TV is pretty bad.

I never realized it until my household became a TiVo (search) family, and we've actually watched television programs for the first time in years.

Right now, with the exception of "Rescue Me," (search) the pickings are slim.

But I have taken a liking to "The Cut" (search) the CBS show starring fashion mogul Tommy Hilfiger (search), and it got me thinking.

Reality TV guru Mark Burnett (search) could have seen his "Apprentice" franchise live well beyond its current shelf life if he didn't lock in Donald Trump (search) to be the only host of the show. "The Apprentice" (search) enters its fourth season on NBC this fall.

Burnett is producing the upcoming Martha Stewart version of "The Apprentice," also for NBC.

But I'd be surprised if Martha can sustain more than one season, and I'd be even more surprised if the show gets good ratings beyond its first two episodes.

Just imagine if Burnett had hired all the hosts of all the copycat reality shows — Hilfiger, Stewart, Virgin tycoon Richard Branson (search) of FOX's cancelled "The Rebel Billionaire," and others — to each host a season of "The Apprentice," rather than individual offshoots that will probably have short lives.

And that's not taking anything away from Trump; he's very good television. It's just that the viewers can only take so much of the real-estate and casino tycoon, and really, just how many ways can there be for contestants to impress Trump? Plus, pretty soon, Trump will run out of properties to shamelessly promote on the show.

Nevertheless, Trump's show is the best of these business-related reality programs.

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If you're not familiar with the concept, a group of people get together on teams and compete to win the job of their dreams (with the Trump Organization, Tommy Hilfiger, Virgin, etc.) by completing tasks as if they were already on the job.

Out of all the copycats, "The Cut" with Hilfiger is the best. Hilfiger is as tough as Trump is, is as compelling to watch, and the subject matter (fashion) is very interesting.

But I can't see it going more than one season either.

So how cool would it have been if Hilfiger replaced Trump on "The Apprentice," who was then replaced by Branson, who was then replaced by Stewart, who was replaced by say William Bratton of the LAPD?

This would have kept the show fresh with new stars, new locations, new tasks, new contestants and viewers might actually learn something about the plethora of businesses in the country.

After a few seasons, Trump or Hilfiger could have come back in an encore performance and the ratings would be even bigger.

But it's not too late.

Burnett needs to go out now and line up a few more compelling CEOs and get ready for life without Trump or Stewart, at least for a few seasons. They can always come back every few seasons.

Maybe I'll do it myself right here at FOX.

With so many summer interns running around, I'll do a show called "The Intern," where the winner gets a job as my assistant, and he or she will get to compile the Your Grrrs page as a full time job. LOL.

Now that would be something. And speaking of Your Grrrs, Michelle the intern took care of these, so enjoy them ... Click Here for Your Grrrs

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Mike Straka is the director of operations and special projects for, and covers entertainment and features on the Sunday program "FOX Magazine." He also writes the weekly Grrr! Column and hosts "The Real Deal" video segments on