'Celebrity Apprentice' exclusive: La Toya Jackson, Mark McGrath, and Star Jones in next cast

 

Image Credit: Marco Prosch/Getty Images

 

While the current (non-celebrity) edition of The Apprentice plays out to record low ratings, fans of absurdity and stars being forced into awesomely ridiculous scenarios can rejoice in the fact that filming on the next Celebrity Apprentice is set to begin in New York City early next week. Not only that, but a source close to production has confirmed to EW.com exclusively three of the famous faces vying for Donald Trump’s love (and money): La Toya Jackson, Mark McGrath, and Star Jones.

Michael Jackson’s sister La Toya certainly has experience on reality TV. In 2007, she — along with people like Erik Estrada and Jack Osbourne — trained to become a Muncie, Indiana reserve police officer on CBS’ Armed & Famous. Then, in 2009, she followed in her brother Jermaine’s footsteps by appearing in the UK on Celebrity Big Brother, where she shared a house with the likes of Verne Troyer and Coolio.

Mark McGrath, best known as the lead singer of rock band Sugar Ray and a former co-host of Extra, also has a background in reality, serving as a guest judge on American Idol, and as host of not one, but two Pussycat Dolls-related reality shows: The Search for the Next Doll and Girlicious. He also currently hosts the syndicated version of Don’t Forget the Lyrics.

And then there is Star Jones. Outside of an appearance last year on a celebrity version of Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? (which, like The Apprentice, is a Mark Burnett production), Jones has been out of the spotlight since her nine-year run as a co-host on The View ended in 2006. (She did also manage to host a season 2 reunion episode of The Bad Girls Club.) Jones, Jackson, and McGrath will be three of the contestants on the fourth installment of Celebrity Apprentice, which will air in the first quarter of 2011. Expect more names to leak soon once the cast arrives in New York City in the next few days. Who else would you like to see in the Boardroom? And what do you think of these first three contestants? Hit the message boards and let us know.

For more Celebrity Apprentice news and various other reality ramblings, follow me on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss. And before you go, make sure to check out the latest edition of our TV Insiders podcast, where we weigh in on Survivor, Dancing With the Stars, and Glee. Just click on the play button below to sit in on our round table discussion, or click here to download the mp3 and take us with you on the go.[AUDIO http://www.ew.com/ew/static/podcast/2010/10/EW_TV_Insiders_10_08_10.mp3%5D

Comments (49 total) Add your comment
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  • Preston

    I really think that broadcast networks’ interest in reality shows are wearing out; Apprentice, Biggest Loser and even Extreme Makeover Home Edition have lost viewers with huge drops of 20,30 or 50 percent in ratings the past few new shows. I like Donald’s Apprentice, but his overusage of celebrities on the spring shows have ruined the overall show when they had ordinary people competing. It was fresh the first few years, but it’s not as exciting now.

    • FromChicago

      Not so fast. As long as it costs 1/2 to make a reality show they will continue. If Celeb Apprentice fails, Trump will turn around and create another reality show. I agree, they’re getting old and actually they’re running out of celebrities….do you notice? It’s like recycling the same ones over and over.

    • Elizabeth

      I think the audiences’ interest is waining as well, but the networks will continue to pump these out due to lost costs.

      It would be nice to see a reality show get the ax after one episode or two due to low ratings. Seems to be fine for scripted television…

      • Les

        That has happened quite a bit

    • Joe

      I know no real A-list celebrity would ever compete in these “Star” things, but wouldn’t it be awesome if they really came up with a Superstar Celebrity Apprentice? I mean, people who really are superstar in their fields: Madonna, Michael Jordan, Angelina Jolie, Jerry Seinfeld, Barbara Walters, Dolly Parton, Tiger Woods, Gloria Steinem, Hugh Hefner, Stephen King.

    • Meli

      That’s too much of a blanket statement. ‘Survivor’ ‘The Amazing Race’ and ‘Project Runway’ are still ratings hits. In fact, ‘Survivor’ has been winning or coming in a very close second in its current time slot. So to say that all reality TV shows are failing is wrong. It could be that people are sick and tired of Donald Trump, or the viewers simply hate this current cast of ‘the Apprentice’.

  • caryn

    I think I might have to pass with Star Jones in the cast. There will have to be someone else that is really intriguing to get me to tune in this time.

  • Joe

    Please, please, please….let Kathy Griffin be in the cast. A Star Jones vs Kathy Griffin catfight is just too delicious to pass up!!

    • pinky

      Kathy would be a great addition! I would tune in for that show.

    • caryn

      OK, Kathy Griggin would make me watch!

      • caryn

        oops, griffin

  • wizard62

    Ugh! Star Jones and Latoya Jackson? Sounds like they are really scraping the bottom of the barrel for this one.

    • Elizabeth

      Welcome to reality television… someone with a viable career isn’t going to participate.

  • JoshP

    Latoya Jackson?! Wow that’s diggin some one out the grave.

  • Julia

    Star Jones really has become desperate!

  • ugly nikki

    Star is a smart lady with a law degree. I’d put her bottom of the barrel credentials against most of yours any day.

    • Joe

      A law degree (any degree, really) doesn’t make anyone smart. And Jones, judging by her stint on The View is definitely a dumbass. Not to mention a smug, self-important, self-righteous cow.

    • FUN

      Then perhaps she should return to practicing law and stay away from TV cameras, the way audiences stay away from her.

    • M

      While I hate her, I would put money on Star Jones going pretty far. She’s intelligent, feisty, and (if you’ll remember the debacle surrounding her impending nuptuals and the sponsorship) can advertise well. I’d say she’s a force to be reckoned with.

  • waya

    They need some bigger names than Star Jones and Latoya! I still like The Apprentice, but this season it is on at an odd time for me and I always miss it.

  • drayche

    I think the perfect person for Celebrity apprentice would be Andre Agassi…

  • Monica W.

    I have always liked “Celebrity Apprentice” more than “The Apprentice”.

  • Suzie Loo

    Where are the big names? Trump should get the likes of Will Smith, Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Megan Fox, Angeline Jolie, Al Pacino, Reese Witherspoon, Julia Roberts, Steve Carrell, Tina Fey, Chris Rock, Adam Sandler etc… and not all these E Listers.

    • Kat

      See those people actually have things going on in their careers right now and don’t need Celebrity Apprentice to boost their level of fame. Donald would never get A-listers like that.

  • cici217

    Usually if they get someone like Star then they’ve already made an upfront deal to give her charity x amount of $$ or secured her a spot in the finale. These scripted reality shows are so lame.

    • babs

      every person who participates in the show is paud the same amount of money and the money they WIN on the show goes to Charity.
      The show does not secure spots for people as cici217 thinks….

      • babs

        * paid the same amount

  • It’s a fact

    Mr Trump should change the name of the show which includes Starr Jones and LaToya Jackson. . . “sadly, they think they are a celebrity. . . apprentice”

  • Kath

    I love Celebrity Apprentice as long as they don’t kill the show with a Gosslin on it-then I will not watch it ever

  • Rocky

    Lance bass is my guess.

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