Few traces of President-elect Donald Trump were apparent last Monday night as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s presence dominated the premier of the New Celebrity Apprentice.
Monday’s premiere was the first showing of the business reality show since NBC cancelled it following outcry against the comments of Trump, its former host.
Schwarzenegger’s persona was central to the new show, from the large lettering announcing the show’s company as “Schwarzenegger Inc.” to statues of the Hollywood actor and former Governor of California.
“I am the new boss,” Schwarzenegger said, opening the show. “I plan to be tough, but fair.”
Despite Trump’s absence, much of Schwarzenegger’s show resembled its time under the Trump brand. Two celebrity teams were separated by gender in the first task. Patrick Schwarzenegger, the Governor’s nephew, sat in as an adviser on board meetings, much as Donald Trump, Jr. had for his father.
President-elect Trump himself had a response to Schwarzenegger’s first episode, which he shared on Twitter.
“The ratings are in and Arnold Schwarzenegger got ‘swamped’ by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT [Donald J. Trump],” Trump wrote on Sunday. “But who cares, he [Schwarzenegger] supported [Gov. John] Kasich & Hillary [Clinton].”
The next episode, “Fire Up That Chopper,” will appear on NBC this Monday.