The publicity from his fight with Rosie O'Donnell doesn't translate into viewers

Despite all the publicity it generated, the ongoing feud between Donald Trump and Rosie O’Donnell did not help the real-estate mogul in the ratings game when it came to Sunday’s season premiere of his The Apprentice on NBC.

According to the Nielsen numbers reported by the New York Daily News, the episode performed worse than last spring’s season premiere, with the first half-hour attracting only 8.6 million viewers.

That was fewer than the 11.6 million who watched the network’s final half-hour of the new Grease: You’re the One That I Want, an American Idol-like talent search to find the leads of an upcoming Broadway revival of the popular stage musical.

When all was said and done Sunday, The Apprentice averaged 9.1 million viewers for the entire show. Sunday’s biggest winner was ABC’s Desperate Housewives, which attracted an average of 18.6 million viewers.