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By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated April 19, 2004 06:18 PM
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Now that the dust has settled on last Thursday’s finale of NBC’s “The Apprentice,” details of the story are emerging — starting with ratings numbers as well as nagging questions about the winner’s new job.

An average of 28 million viewers tuned in Thursday, making the finale last week’s top-rated show. It also attracted 17.5 million young-adult viewers, the third-highest-rated entertainment show this season among that group, behind the post-Super Bowl premiere of “Survivor: All-Stars” and the Oscars.

“This was the best non-Olympics ratings (on NBC) for four years,” crowed Donald Trump, reports the New York Post. “We beat ‘CSI’ by 62 percent.”

As the world knows by now, Bill Rancic beat Kwame Jackson to win a $250,000 job running Trump’s $700 million Chicago high-rise, but The New York Times suggests that Rancic, 32, will merely be a figurehead and that Trump, 57, himself will really run the show.

“This is a large and sophisticated project, and the job is like being the conductor of an orchestra,” The Times quotes Bruce R. Cohen, chief executive of Chicago’s Cohen Financial Capital Management, as saying. “I don’t know how somebody can conduct the Chicago Symphony Orchestra if they’ve never gone to a concert before, and if they’ve never played an instrument.”

Trump says he’s still working out exactly what Rancic would do. “It will be an important job,” The Donald promised. “He will be a project manager … working with a team of highly trained professionals who have done nothing but build buildings their whole lives — including me.”

Rancic told Jay Leno on Friday’s “Tonight Show” that he and a friend had already “developed a handful of buildings” in Chicago.

Meanwhile, the second-place Jackson is said to be mulling a job offer from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and is poised to launch his own media company.

Even the contestant everyone loved to hate, Omarosa Manigualt-Stallworth, is not expected to be filing for unemployment anytime soon. Despite her on-camera exposure as a liar, she has filmed a screen test for an Herbal Essence shampoo commercial, served as a presenter this past weekend on the VH1 “Divas” show and is reportedly considering a book deal, an appearance on season two of “The Apprentice” and hosting her own talk show.