The new season of Celebrity Apprentice premieres Jan. 2 on NBC
He’s still hired!
Donald Trump will continue in his position as executive producer on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice and will maintain his EP credit when it returns for a new season in January, MGM confirmed to PEOPLE on Thursday.
Trump, 70, was host of The Apprentice/Celebrity Apprentice for the first 14 seasons beginning in 2004 and has served alongside series creator Mark Burnett as executive producer. (Executive producers do not necessarily need to be on a set as they typically contribute to the producing of a product and can contribute to a project’s budget.)
“Mr. Trump has a big stake in the show and conceived of it with Mark Burnett,” a rep for Trump told PEOPLE about the president-elect’s role on the long-running NBC series. A source close to Trump also tells PEOPLE, “He does not have any current or ongoing obligations to the production — it’s just a title to honor that he was a major creator of the show and takes a share of the profits.”
Prior to Trump winning the 2016 presidential race against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, Burnett, 56, announced that he would not be casting a vote in Trump’s favor. NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt also revealed at the Television Critics Association tour in Beverly Hills that Trump “would never be back on Celebrity Apprentice, as long as I’m here.”
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On Jan. 20, 2017, president-elect Trump will will be sworn into office as the 45th President of the United States, just 18 days after Celebrity Apprentice premieres for its 15th season with Arnold Schwarzenegger as the “new boss.”
In 2015, Trump announced that he was giving up his post as host of the NBC reality competition series — which he has received two Emmy nominations for (outstanding reality competition series in 2004 and 2005) — to begin his run in the presidential race.
The new season of Celebrity Apprentice premieres Jan. 2 on NBC.
Variety first reported the news.