The Egos Have Landed -
This one is a personal "I Told You So" to one Gordon
When I found out last summer that Martha Stewart was
going to have her own version of "The Apprentice", I
said to Gordon that it would be "the biggest bomb of the
2005-2006 season". Okay, that title belongs to "But Can
But the bomb exploded this week as both Stewart and
Trump are trying to assign blame as to why the show
failed. Stewart said in this week's Newsweek that the
original plan was to have Stewart "fire" Trump on the
show and then have her version be the flagship. She
blamed him for the failure of her version, because he
wouldn't step aside. Then on Tuesday, according to the
New York Daily News, Trump fired back by calling
Newsweek, saying, "What moron would think you're going
to fire the guy with the No. 1 show on television?" and
sending Stewart a letter on Tuesday branding her a
"liar" and saying that her lies were akin to the
insider-trading scandal that sent her to jail.
On Martha's syndicated talk show on Wednesday of this
week she said, "I'm hurt and I'm really very upset at my
longtime friend and that's really all I want to say.
Enough about it." Then Mr. Trump goes on CNBC and said
"What I didn't like is that I defended Martha many, many
times and I never got a note. I never got a phone call
saying, 'Donald, thank you very much. See, you get a
little bit tired of it. Then when her show fails, she
blames me on top of everything else."
To me, this is the biggest story of the week. I usually
don't revel in show's failures. But in this case, Trump
is right. Let me count the ways.
a) by having two shows on, you dilute the show's
b) Stewart's persona was being massaged by having her
version on, not as a true business show.
c) The Apprentice IS Donald Trump. Having him fired
would have been a STUPID idea.
Sorry Martha--in the battle of egos, you just brought a
knife to a gunfight.
Its amazing what 4 million people and change can do to
Donald Trump and Martha Stewart have decided to not play
nice in the sandbox anymore - this after they were both
buddy buddy as they were promoting each others show.
After the ratings show up, Martha gets the gate due to
her lack of ratings, while The Donald (who does have
sagging ratings of his own) gets to be moved to Mondays.
However, the Donald isnt done there. Instead of sending
the Martha on her way, the Donald decides to tar and
feather her first as he slams her in the media. Martha,
of course, decides to fire back, and its on like Donkey
Kong. But since Martha is no longer on the air, and
Donald is in danger of joining her, it seems like the
two big gorillas are left to fight over what appears to
be half of an already eaten banana.
My colleague Jason Block says that Martha Stewart is to
blame for this mess, but is she really? Lets really
look at whats going on here.
We all agree that one of the main parts to the shows
demise was the replacement of Martha with Martha-lite.
By the middle of the series, when Martha really bared
her claws, the show was getting good, but by that point,
it was too little too late. Sure, you could blame it on
Martha, but I choose to blame it on the producers and
the people who told her to act in that sort of fashion.
Martha got very poor advice and she paid for it dearly.
She also got poor council on another area the
contestants. I dont think any of those candidates make
it to The Donalds Boardroom, save Jim, who is probably
one of the first three to go. Therein lies the next
problem of the show. Sure, this is a job interview, but
this is also a game. Sure, the manipulative, sneaky and
sometimes sanity-questionable Jim had no prayer to win
this competition, but Jim is one of the best people to
play this game in a long long time, and perhaps the best
ever. The strategy of pitting up the good people against
each other to start eliminating them was genius, and the
frustration of Martha Stewart not being able to hire who
she really wanted to was all thanks to Jim, who forced
Martha to oust some of the better players early. But the
fact of the matter is that there should have been 16
worthy contestants there, and there clearly wasnt. That
falls on the head of the contestant coordinators, who
should have been much more concerned in capability than
Lets now get into The Donald and his own ego. Do I
think that his show was a factor in Marthas loss of
ratings? Absolutely. NBC hit the saturation point with
two Apprentices, and with the game market what it is, I
dont see how you can put all of those identical game
dramas on the air without one or two taking a hit. If
this was REALLY supposed to be a transition period and
I think that it was then The Donald should have taken
the season off
which reminds me of something
I dont see
how Martha Stewart could have truly thought that we
would be buying her statement that the show was only
supposed to be on for one season when the idea was for
her to fire The Donald. Hmmm?
So sure, when you look at it, there were plenty of
problems with The Apprentice: Martha Stewart. But there
was plenty of blame to go around, including Mark
Burnett, the casting coordinators, the lack of savvy on
the contestants, and even the Donald, which brings me to
the last point. Why is The Donald bringing it up now
again? Well, lets see
Apprentice 5, Monday, February
27, 2006. I guess being in the news is good enough to
get some more publicity for the show, and I guess that
if its all to get ratings for a struggling franchise,
then thats all that matters, regardless of how many
egos you bruise or how many lifelong friendships you
But then again, that should be a commonplace theme for a
show with the tagline: "It's nothing personal... it's
More GSC5 Goodies!
Once again, its that time of month, where
.no no no,
not THAT time of month (though Im sure some people are
thinking that). This is the time of month where we
discuss more of Game Show Congress 5! And with that, we
do have some goodies for you to peruse
1. One of the main events has been confirmed. That one
would be the amazing run of Thom McKee as he did to Tic
Tac Dough what Ken Jennings did to Jeopardy. Included in
the discussion will be McKee, as well as Wink Mr.
Orbitz Martindale, and others to be named later.
2. The Ralph Edwards award will be given this year to
Betty White, who will be honored at a luncheon. The Bill
Cullen Award will be going to her late husband Allen
3. We will be having a LIVE version of Whats my Line
over at the Convention! Yes, Beat the Geeks J. Keith
Van Stratten will be bringing the panelists over.
4. Anyone for Jeopardy? What about an 18 person Jeopardy
Charity Tournament? The people with the most pledges
will be going to the invitational, where they will play
against each other for 6 spots. The other three spots
will be filled by 3 big wigs who were in Jeopardys
Ultimate Tournament of Champions. Stay tuned to get more
information on said Big Wigs
Those are the new items that were discussed. The old
items (Battle Buzzer, Game Show Tournament, WLTI, etc.)
are still there. When we return to this next month,
there should be a more solid schedule, as well as more
of an idea on what shows will be taping in the area.
Gordon Pepper is more than happy to send Jason Block
into the fray to avenge his UTOC snub... E-mail Gordon at
E-mail Jason at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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