'The Celebrity Apprentice' finale makes for all-time series-low ratings: What made you not tune in?


Image Credit: Heidi Gutman/NBC

Nothing to smile about here, Trump. The ratings for the season finale of The Celebrity Apprentice were anything but YOUGE.

Pulling in a rather paltry 2.9/7 share in the coveted 18-49 demo, the episode proved to be the lowest spring finale ever for The Apprentice, Celebrity or otherwise. While the EW.com comments section have all but been ablaze today with chatter from those of you who actually did tune in for last night’s finale (“Marlee Matlin was robbed!” “Who is John Rich again?” “Where are my pants?!”), we’re curious as to why so many folks didn’t. 

There’s a number of theories as to why so many opted not to watch (and, no, we refuse to blame the Harlem Globetrotters or Def Leppard for this), including, and perhaps the biggest reason of all: The Donald himself. Have people officially grown tired of Donald Trump, particularly after his attacks on President Obama and the since-resolved birth certificate “issue”?

Perhaps it was the evidence that he has zero sense of humor about himself (see: The White House Correspondents’ Dinner) or that he didn’t wait until the finale of The Celebrity Apprentice to announce he wouldn’t have a shot in a million years of becoming President won’t be running for President. (Except now he won’t rule it out. Until he does again. Or doesn’t.) Or maybe it’s just the hair. Whatever it is, it seems plenty have had their fill of Trump as of late.

But the blame can’t fall solely on the Donald, can it?

Sure, he didn’t deserve to be in the final two, but something tells me that actor/professional kook Gary Busey would have pulled in record numbers had he faced off against Rich or Matlin in the finale. And speaking of those two, should we just chalk it up to lack of panache (read: headbands) that made them less intriguing than last season’s champ Bret Michaels? (His season’s finale pulled in 15 percent more viewers.)

Or were you just really, really, REALLY sick of listening to NeNe and Star argue?

Tell us, PopWatchers, why didn’t you tune in for the season finale of ‘The Celebrity Apprentice’? Was it the Donald? The contestants? Or were you too mesmerized by Justin Bieber’s gold blazer on the Billboard Music Awards to change the channel?

Read more:
Donald Trump says he ‘would not rule out’ a late-entry presidential campaign
Donald Trump: I will not run for President
‘The Celebrity Apprentice’ season finale recap: Clash of the Titans

Comments (223 total) Add your comment
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  • erin

    It’s a stupid show, hosted by a stupid narcissist. Why WOULD we watch??

    • Fella’s Mom


    • Anne


      • NSHI


    • Javadude54

      That answers the question for me.

      • Zeba


    • Gigii


    • John

      Actually, this really doesn’t explain anything. The show has had much better ratings in the past — so, clearly, people DO normally watch. The question is: why didn’t people watch this particular episode. The fact that it may be a “stupid show” or that it was hosted by a “a stupid narcissist” doesn’t answer the question of why people normally watch but didn’t THIS time at all.

      • Chet

        I watch during the season to see the drama and who will get fired, but frankly couldn’t sit through a 2 hour finale. It’s the same thing every year. It looks like one person’s going to win, then the other person makes a comeback at the last minute. Then Trump says its the best season ever and each contestant is equally worthy and then hires one. I didn’t need to sit through 1 hour 45 minutes of fluff just to see who won.

    • The Man

      He’s a racist birther with a racist crazy fan base. Who cares. His right wing Christian viewers can go f*** themselves.

      • the slickest

        you are an idiot, and little boys who throw tantrums and say stupid things should not be allowed on the internet.

      • kim

        your lack of education is showing

      • Stellar

        This isn’t far from the truth although people may not like your answer. I’ve seen where radio personalities have been advocating people not watch because of this birther thing, and it actually happened.

      • sputnik

        i say let ivanka take over, i think her and don jr can hold down celebrity apprentice without donald senior and probably attract a younger demographic. i am so sick of donald trump with all his antics, but as much as i dislike him, he does seem to have some good kids. i would be happy to watch with ivanka and don jr in charge. move over donald! give them a chance to escape ur shadow and run things for a change!

    • meveeja


    • Mark

      Why does anyone even bother to post? We all know how these “discussions” go:

      Comment 1: Blast the show as garbage.

      First Reply to comment 1: Agrees

      Second Reply to comment 1: Blasts commenter and asks “If you don’t like the show why are you here?”

      Comment 2: Obama lover says something stupid

      Reply to comment 2: Obama hater says something stupid.

      Reply to reply: Tea parter agrees and says something Palinesquely stupid

      Comment 3: “First!”

      • adras

        now now, your meta is showing.

      • eleanor53

        So Mark, you’re wondering why people bothered to post and yet, you’ve posted yourself. Wow!

    • FromChicago

      The Donald is one reason I didn’t tune in. I’m kind of tired of his schick. The mean boss. The manipulative, unfair boss. And the scowl on his face? Tired of looking at it. Does he ever smile?

      I think it’s time to bring in another “boss” or try the regular Apprentice with another “boss” and not the Donald.

      Second reason for not watching: All the drama was over with. What’s left? They should crown one guy and one gal, instead of ONE apprentice.

    • allie

      I was actually enjoying this season even though you are right – it is a ridiculous show. But when Trump started the whole birther attacks we stopped watching and won’t be back next season either.

    • Jean Guy Levesque

      Fat Donald Trump destroyed this show and any integrity he had left when he went off spewing his idiotic and dumb views on Obama, China and foreign politics. He’s viewed as a fat clownish goofball. The Apprentice show is finished. Vive la Quebec!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Fallon

    I lost interest after Nene and Star got kicked off.

    • Eshia

      And I have to admit, I had a love/hate thing with Star. I loved her as the villain, I felt like Trump keeping Meatloaf over Star was dumb. So all in all, I didn’t watch the finale because of Trump.

      • princesspr

        With NeNe being gone…Trump figure that Star had served her purpose.

      • Marilou Angelastro

        It was because of Star and NeNe that I lost interest. And, I love Gary Busey, what a character! Marlee Matlin has never interested me one way or the other, and who is John Rich? Donald is fun!!!!

    • Annie

      I stopped watching once Nene and Star were gone. I love Nene!!! And everyone loves to hate Star Jones!

    • chuck

      excuse me ,but Nene quit,
      i was going for her but i don,t like quitters.

  • E

    All the crazy people were gone. Of course.

    • }:(

      This was my first season to watch and I only watched because Gary Busey was on it, then was pleasantly surprised to meet NeNe and see her antics. After that, in a word, boring. Although I did try to watch the finale… Just lost interest.

  • Dee

    I thought Mr. Trump acted like a gentlemen when he hire Rich but did not fire Marlee, they bith did a great job. I loved the finale.

    • Karen

      I’m done with the show–watched it purely for entertainment…wasn’t a fan of SJ all season, but the whole Meatloaf/SJ thing really bothered me. Turned me off Trump for good. (Only watched the rest of the season b/c had so much time invested and wanted to know out come.) Anyhow, for a MAN in his position to say ‘oh come, on, SWEETIE, you know he didn’t mean it. I don’t really see the harm’ (Yes I’m paraphrasing) showed his true colors that he feels his world is a man’s world that women are secondary in. Was watching that episode at the gym and a couple others there men included were like wtf, he didn’t just… Anyhow, done.

  • Stephanie

    I wanted to see how this season played out, but I won’t watch the next CA. Trump had always been a cartoon in part of a guilty-pleasure reality show, but I can’t ignore how my viewing is some sort of vindication of this man and his obnoxious political behavior of late. Ultimately he took advantage of the celeb’s this season and used their charities as well, while ultimately providing little direct monetary support himself.

    • ER

      Donald Trump didn’t take advantage of the celebs or use their charities. Each celeb knew going in they were working for their charity & each charity got what was earned for them. We enjoy the show & look forward to it each year. We like having celebs instead of just reg. people. The celebs work for a charity and that is the way it should be.

      • Butinallreality

        Wrong, the celebs work towards paying off trumps taxes(written off)… You really didn’t know that?

      • Stephanie

        The celebs had no idea when they signed on this year that Trump was going to be more active politically. He referred to it on CA and asked if they would support him. They are working for their charities and would hardly confront him.

    • Dorimifah Solatido

      Great point. Listening to Micheal Jackson is “vindication” of pedophelia. Looking at a Picasso is a “vindication” of wife beating. Watching a Roman Polanski movie or listening to James Brook’s “You Light Up My Life” is a “vindication” of date rape. Always consider the source, never take things on their own erits.

      • Bill

        Dormifah: when your viewership gives a person ratings — and therefore more money and influence — there absolutely is a causality. I personally stopped watching the Apprentice years ago because I couldn’t stand the fact that I was subjected to Trump’s egomania.

      • Bill

        Also, that’s a ridiculous parallel. With the cases of Jackson, Polanski, Gary Glitter, etc., you separate the artist from the art (or don’t, if you can’t). With Trump, the show and the man are essentially one in the same. Liking the show is essentially having to accept Trump’s personality every week.

      • Esox

        Not true. Trump is playing a character just like the other examples.

      • Stephanie

        Actually one should be aware of such matters when it comes to artistic expression. The 17th-century painter Caravaggio stabbed and killed a man, and there is an intense violence sublimated into his religious imagery. There is a complex relationship between an individual and their creation. Trump and AI hardly comes under the category of artistic expression. Watching AI gives Trump a platform, which he can use for promoting whatever political adventure he wants to engage in. I like to keep my guilty pleasures and politics separate.

      • Rich

        Which is why the Mel Gibson movie did so well recently… because everyone saw it on its own merits? WHOOPS…

    • caryn c

      Agree, Stephanie, I don’t think I can watch another season of DT.

    • Dash

      I’ve always felt that Trump was the background character, the jester of CA. He is never really front and center (yet is always there). The only time he is saying anything it’s to give exposition to the events we just watched. It’s all very Shakespearean (sp?).

  • Laura

    I did tune in to see Marlee Matlin win. Once again, Donald Trump got it wrong! I like John Rich, but Marlee’s performance out shined him. I would take a wild guess about the low audience being due to Donald’s out-of-touch with reality issue. He sees himself as some great person. Most of the real world, does not see him in the same manner. My advice to him is to stop talking and making every conversation about “Donald” and more about others, and not in a cheap way either.

    • Rene

      I thought that John Rich, Whom i had never heard of before this show, was the true winner. Marlee pretty much let meatloaf do whatever he wanted most of the time. John Rich truly deserved to win. He proved it since the beginning of the season

      • Lauren

        He is part of Big & Rich, a country music duo

    • Robert

      I agree with this. She did better on the last task, she made fewer mistakes and overall produced a better project. Throughout the season she navigated way more curveballs and she was on a much more difficult team to survive on. To me she should have been the hands-down winner. I could tell, the week before though, that Trump was going to give it to John Rich and opted not to watch.

      • DH

        Exactly.. As JR said look at the body of work over the course of the show. MM did win the last task, but not by a huge margin.

    • Lauren

      Marlee let Meatloaf take over too much, other than that she was great at her tasks, especially since I would imagine that many things are a little harder for her to do, and the other team’s can was outstanding. Meatloaf was right about the box, the boombox design would have distinguished the package from their usual design. I suspect that the 7up executives did like Marlee Matlin’s task more, but Donald chose John Rich.

  • Laura

    I did tune in to see Marlee Matlin win. Once again, Donald Trump got it wrong! I like John Rich, but Marlee’s performance out shined him. I would take a wild guess about the low audience being due to Donald’s out-of-touch with reality issue. He sees himself as some great person. Most of the real world, does not see him in the same manner. My advice to him is to stop talking and making every conversation about “Donald” and more about others, and not in a cheap way either. I really feel sorry for him!

  • Andrew

    The first episode was bad and my brother and I had no desire to watch the full season.

  • Kristen

    EW.Com is at fault. Dalton’s recaps are so awesome I barely bother to watch the show..but I haven’t missed a recap all season.

  • ty

    I stopped watching once his racist side came out.

    • The Man

      90% of his fan base are uneducated christian moron mouthbreathers from the south.

      • My Two Cents

        Yep. That’s all the fan base is you jack! My husband and I watched faithfully every week with four advanced degrees between us and after attending our weekly Sunday Catholic Mass in the North East.

      • Butinallreality

        People who believe in religion have been proven to have lower IQs, look it up my little bleeting sheep.

        Advanced degrees huh… Ever noticed how people who bring up their academic merits, but never go into specifics, usually majored in BS. You get your MD in pottery? You sound a bit poli-sci, which would explain your predictable know it all attitude.

        If that was your two cents, I’d expect change back…

      • Steve T

        How can you not believe in religion? It exists. That’s like not believing in bananas.

      • Meme

        This comment clearly shows what an uneducated moron mouthbreather you are!

  • AI FAN

    Vote for Scotty1 Let’s bring it home!!!

    • TorontoTom

      Another show I’m tired of and won’t be watching. I look for record low ratings for Idol as well. I think the saturation of the TV schedule with reality competitions is nearing the breaking point. ENOUGH!

  • Karma

    ew.com with your tail between your legs and your heads up your as####. Why not leave alone a show that gets donations for people in need. Get a life and real job!

    • Carlo

      Right. Donations for people in need like Trump and his need to fatten his wallet and his head. Why don’t you buy a friggin clue, moron.

      • Karma

        oh go put a diaper on…

      • Karma

        hows that CHANGE going for yah?

      • Carlo

        Diaper – change – you’re hilarious. Now please take your meds, go back down to your mom’s basement and finish playing your video games…

    • Esox

      Karma, EW has been pimping this show as great TV all year. Why it tanked is a valid question.

      • Karma

        thats it… it has not tanked…it is only because he was maybe going after the 2012 election that people started to come down on him

      • Esox

        It tanked in the ratings in a very important demographic that it used to do well in.

  • deaf lady

    yeah let vote Scotty! Let him go home!

  • Carlo

    I was really hoping Seal Team VI could have killed bin Laden a second time so Obama could’ve pre-empted the Season Finale too.

    • Kris

      Hysterical!! Thanks for laugh… loved it!

  • RonD-

    It seems that people missed what Trump was all about. His incessant “birther blather” was just a way to hook the attention of the public and get himself lots of air time. He really is a master at working is audience and not disclosing what he is really after. That’s how he has been so successful more often than he’s failed in business.

    I watched the series and the final episode because he had good group of people, especially his finalists. I was interested in them, not ‘The Donald’.

    • Brio268250

      I think some of you are related to NeNe the whole purpose of the show was to make money for their charity. Over 1,000,000.00 went to St Jude and that is a GOOD thing. What a great outlet to make donations to charity. Totally enjoyed the show – the best one yet !

      • Deanna S

        Agreed. I enjoyed this season, drama and all. Even Gary B’s kookiness and Meat’s meltdown! Way to raise lots of money for worthy charities. I’m a huge John Rich fan and was happy to see he won but Marlee also did a fantastic job… can’t wait to see who will be on the next season!

      • Meme

        I love St. Jude and the wonderful work they do!! So glad that they received the million dollars. It will be money well used!

      • micky


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