11/30/2005 AT 8:45 AM ET
Goodbye, Big Apple: Donald Trump’s next season of The Apprentice will shift its New York-based boardroom to Hollywood.
NBC announced Tuesday that, despite a slippage in the ratings for the reality show (and the one-shot disappointment of Martha Stewart’s spinoff this season), Trump will be back for a sixth season, with 16 contestants competing in Southern California.
“We think that viewers will agree that a California backdrop, with Donald’s West Coast business interests and relationships, will provide an exciting new flavor for the series next season,” NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly said in a statement.
The current fourth installment of The Apprentice will wrap up Dec. 15 with a two-hour finale live from Manhattan’s Lincoln Center. Meanwhile, Apprentice 5 is already set to debut midseason early next year.
Trump’s Apprentice currently averages about 10 million viewers a week, down 4 million from last season, though it is still one of NBC’s highest-rated shows among young adults, the group most prized by advertisers.
“I could never have imagined that firing 67 people on national television would actually make me more popular, especially with the younger generation,” Trump said.