NBC renews ''The Apprentice.'' The Donald will make 16 more junior capitalists jump through hoops this fall

By Gary Susman
Updated February 06, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST

Attention, capitalists-in-training: Donald Trump is still hiring. NBC announced on Thursday that it has renewed fledgeling reality hit ”The Apprentice” for a second season this fall, and the network is accepting videotaped applications for the 16 contestant slots through March 4.

Since taking up valuable real estate on Thursday nights, ”The Apprentice” has averaged 19 million viewers per episode and become the sixth most-watched show of the season, according to NBC. Executive producer Mark Burnett (the mastermind behind CBS’ similarly Darwinian ”Survivor”) said in a statement that he attributes the show’s success ”to the incredible television presence of Donald Trump and the smartest, most intriguing cast I have ever put together for a reality show. In the upcoming season, we promise more great characters, tougher tasks, and longer, more intense boardroom showdowns.” You’ve been warned.