Martha Stewart will host ''Apprentice'' spinoff. Once she's free, she'll put potential employees through their paces on a show produced by Donald Trump and Mark Burnett

By Gary Susman
Updated February 02, 2005 at 05:00 AM EST

It was probably inevitable. Martha Stewart, who already had a reputation as one of America’s most demanding bosses before her current prison term, will host a spinoff of The Apprentice. To be called The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, the show will be produced by Donald Trump and Apprentice producer Mark Burnett, who has been promising for months that he’d develop a primetime show for Stewart to go along with the revamp of her syndicated daytime homemaking show that he’s producing as well.

As on the Trump version of the reality series, aspiring employees of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia will have to jump hurdles related to the boss’ specialties — media, home renovation, entertaining, design, merchandising, technology, and style. No word on when the show will debut on NBC; in serving her time on charges of lying to the government about her ImClone stock sale, Stewart first has to finish her federal prison sentence in March, then undergo five months of house arrest. Burnett said in a conference call on Tuesday that Stewart has had no input into the development of the show while she’s been behind bars, as she’s prohibited from doing business while she serves time.

”I am thrilled to be able to offer my good friend Martha the opportunity to join me in the success of The Apprentice,” Trump said Tuesday in a statement. ”I hope she has as much fun as I do with this venture.” Contestants, you’ve been warned.