The Donald makes some strong demands on before starting the second season of his show

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated July 28, 2004 09:00 AM

Those TV network executives who believe reality shows come cheaper than scripted sitcoms and dramas may want to think again.

Taking his cues from the cast of Friends – who demanded, and received, about $1.5 million per episode each for their final season – Donald Trump has presented NBC with a very expensive list of demands before he undertakes his second season of The Apprentice, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Among the “requests” made by the 58-year-old New York real-estate developer, according to the paper: additional creative control, better living situations for the contestants and a personal assistant for himself.

And one more thing: His current $50,000-per-episode fee should be hiked a bit, too – to $9 million per. That is, until Trump remembered that Friends only ran for 30 minutes.

Since he’s on camera for the full hour on Apprentice, Trump reportedly re-submitted his salary request. It’s now $18 million per episode.

NBC has not commented, but the Journal reports that the network will end up shelling out an unspecified six-figure weekly salary to Trump, not the eight-figure sum he desired.

Trump said that should NBC want a third season, it will cost them even more. Two months ago, the Journal notes, the freshly minted TV star signed with Hollywood’s powerful Creative Artists Agency.