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The Hollywood Insider: 'The Apprentice' to return

Donald Trump reboots the reality franchise sans celebrities, and Rosie O’Donnell eyes a comeback; plus, the Return of William Zabka

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TV The Apprentice will be back. Is TV out of ideas?
If at first you succeed, try, try again: That seems to be the mantra over at NBC, which has decided to reboot a non-Celebrity edition of The Apprentice rather than hold out hope that new reality shows like The Marriage Ref (7.1 million viewers) and Who Do You Think You Are? (6.9 million viewers) have what it takes to become the next…Apprentice. (The Celebrity edition on now has averaged 7.6 million viewers.) Bowing this fall, the new version will feature Donald Trump and daughter Ivanka with 14 candidates who have been hit hard by the economic downturn. Does this mean NBC has all but given up on finding the next big reality series? ”Any day, someone can walk in with a great idea,” says NBC head of alternative programming Paul Telegdy. ”We have to be vigilant.” But even he concedes it’s gotten harder to create and launch franchises, especially given the explosion of high-quality reality on cable (maybe that’s why ABC is in the early stages of relaunching Star Search). Says Telegdy, ”Viewers have grown more cynical. They are reacting like they’ve seen it or heard it all before.”
Lynette Rice

Rosie O’Donnell eyes a talk-show return
Clearly hoping to make hay out of Oprah Winfrey‘s departure in 2011, Rosie O’Donnell is teaming with two former Warner Bros. execs to stage a TV comeback. At press time, it was unclear what type of talk show she hopes to do, but O’Donnell may want to keep it light if she hopes to score some of Winfrey’s old time periods. ”If it’s a variety show, there’s always the possibility,” says Katz Media’s Bill Carroll. ”If it’s political, then — no. That would be ideal for cable.”
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MOVIES Flashback! Karate Kid villain takes a dip in Hot Tub Time Machine.
Holy headbands, the ’80s bad boy is back! William Zabka, who played the bully in five ’80s films, including Just One of the Guys and The Karate Kid, makes a surprise cameo in this weekend’s Hot Tub Time Machine. But don’t expect him to sweep the leg of star John Cusack. ”I play a cheesy, mustached, gum-chewing Burt Reynolds type,” says Zabka, who also nabbed an Oscar nod in 2004 for the short film Most. Zabka says he wasn’t approached to reprise his role as Johnny Lawrence for Sony’s redux of The Karate Kid (out June 11), but he’d still like to see it. ”I’m not offended by it,” he adds. ”It isn’t a dead-on remake. I don’t think it’ll take anything away from what we did.”
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