When the less-than-stellar ratings for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s version of The Celebrity Apprentice emerged earlier this week, we speculated that perhaps Donald Trump didn’t send off a disparaging tweet was because he retains an executive producer credit on the show. After all, the reason couldn’t possibly be that he’s the president-elect of the United States as that development hasn’t seemed to change any of his behavioral patterns. Well, apparently we just had to wait a couple of days, because Trump, who has an intelligence briefing scheduled for today, shared his feelings in one of his early morning missives. Speaking about himself in the third person and calling himself a “ratings machine,” he claimed victory over The Terminator. (Schwarzenegger’s catchphrase, by the way, is “you’re terminated.”)
Despite Trump’s tendency to be fast and loose with facts, he’s not wrong that viewers didn’t flock to watch Schwarzenegger Monday. Ratings for The New Celebrity Apprentice were down 44 percent from the 2015 season premiere of the show when Trump was hosting. As for his claims regarding “season 1” it’s unclear if he’s referring to The Apprentice where 18.5 million tuned in or The Celebrity Apprentice where 11.08 million did. Still they are both up from the 4.9 million Schwarzenegger attracted. This, however, is not to say that the franchise has always been a boon for NBC. Interest in the series has wavered significantly over time. Still, now we must ask ourselves the question: Does this mean watching The New Celebrity Apprentice will constitute as a form of protest? Or if the ratings go up will PEOTUS just claim it was his doing?
Update: Schwarzenegger has responded to Trump in a series of tweets of his own, essentially urging him to get his priorities straight.