Arnold Schwarzenegger will host the reality competition when it returns for the 2016-17 season, NBC announced Monday.
“Wow. I’m blown away and honored by all your tweets,” he Tweeted about the news. “I can’t wait to bring my experience to the board room & raise millions for charity.”
The actor is replacing Donald Trump, who cut ties with NBC after declaring that he is seeking the Republican nomination for president.
Trump, 69, congratulated Schwarzenegger on Twitter, saying he’ll “be great” and raise “lots of [money] for charity.” He also apologized to his fans for being unable to continue with the program because of the Federal Communications Commission’s guidelines for candidates.
It’s like the stars are switching places: Schwarzenegger, 68, turned to politics as governor of California in 2003, and he served two terms in office.
But he hasn’t left show business behind: The A-lister reprised his most iconic movie role in Terminator Genisys this year.
“After leaving the show to run for political office, Donald made it clear that he wanted The Celebrity Apprentice to be able to continue to raise millions of dollars annually for worthy causes, and now NBC and I have found an amazing new leader to do just that,” executive producer Mark Burnett said in a news release. “Gov. Schwarzenegger will use his vast and highly successful business, political and media experience to drive this hit franchise to new heights.”
Basketball legend Magic Johnson and businessmen Richard Branson and Mark Cuban had previously been floated as potential hosts.
“I have always been a huge fan of The Celebrity Apprentice and the way it showcases the challenges and triumphs of business and teamwork,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement. “I am thrilled to bring my experience to the boardroom and to continue to raise millions for charity. Let’s get started!”