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[01/08/09 - 06:14 AM]
NBC Announces the 16 All-Star Celebrities Ready to Take on Donald Trump in the Boardroom When 'The Celebrity Apprentice' Premieres Sunday, March 1 (9 P.M. Et)
This year's cast includes Clint Black, Andrew Dice Clay, Annie Duke, Tom Green, Natalie Gulbis, Scott Hamilton, Jesse James, Claudia Jordan, Khloe Kardashian, Brian McKnight, Joan Rivers, Melissa Rivers, Brande Roderick, Dennis Rodman, Herschel Walker and Tionne Watkins.

[via press release from NBC]

NBC ANNOUNCES THE 16 ALL-STAR CELEBRITIES READY TO TAKE ON DONALD TRUMP IN THE BOARDROOM WHEN 'THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE' PREMIERES SUNDAY, MARCH 1 (9 P.M. ET)

Clint Black, Andrew Dice Clay, Annie Duke, Tom Green, Natalie Gulbis, Scott Hamilton, Jesse James, Claudia Jordan, Khloe Kardashian, Brian McKnight, Joan Rivers, Melissa Rivers, Brande Roderick, Dennis Rodman, Herschel Walker and Tionne Watkins Will All Be Competing For Charity

NEW YORK - Thursday, January 8, 2009 - NBC and Donald Trump announced today the all-star celebrity cast for the second sensational season of "The Celebrity Apprentice" premiering on Sunday, March 1 (9-11 p.m. ET/PT).

On the first ever "Celebrity Apprentice" last season, winner Piers Morgan changed the way the game was played, winning millions for charity and setting the bar for all who follow. Now 16 new celebrities will rise to the challenge and once again it will be men versus women. The men include: Clint Black, Andrew Dice Clay, Tom Green, Scott Hamilton, Jesse James, Brian McKnight, Dennis Rodman, and Herschel Walker. The women include: Annie Duke, Natalie Gulbis, Claudia Jordan, Khloe Kardashian, Joan Rivers, Melissa Rivers, Brande Roderick and Tionne Watkins. All the celebrities will be vying for the coveted title as they fight for their respective causes.

"Last season's 'Celebrity Apprentice' became one of the hottest shows on television -- and this season will be even better," said Trump. "We have an amazing cast of celebrities and we are looking forward to some fantastic entertainment."

The 16 celebrities will compete in business-driven tasks around New York City using their fame, rolodexes and their business acumen to win weekly tasks, while ultimately battling with each other to stay out of the boardroom and avoid hearing those dreaded words "You're Fired!" They'll be subjected to long hours, grueling mental challenges, personality clashes and intense scrutiny -- all without the help of their regular support system of agents, managers and personal assistants.

This season the competition is more cut throat than ever with a group of celebrities that will fight, tooth and nail, to win. Such intensity will result in flare-ups that, Piers Morgan says, "make his legendary fights with Omarosa look like a tea party."

Ultimately they will face the judgment of Donald Trump and his advisors in the boardroom, which will include his children (and colleagues), Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. Also appearing in the boardroom alongside Trump will be his longtime associate and trusted colleague, George Ross.

The boardroom will feature a "rotating seat," allowing a variety of famous business leaders and industry legends to join Trump in spirited judgment of the tasks. As with last season, winning celebrity teams will relish the opportunity to watch the losing team squirm in the boardroom from the comfort of their own war rooms.

When all is said and done, 15 celebrities will be famously fired and only one will emerge to become The Celebrity Apprentice.

"The Celebrity Apprentice" is produced by Mark Burnett Productions in association with Trump Productions LLC. Mark Burnett, Donald Trump, Page Feldman and Eden Gaha are Executive Producers.

ABOUT THE CANDIDATES:

Each celebrity contestant was handpicked for their balance of notoriety and business skills. Capsule bios are below, with full biographies available on NBC Media Village (www.nbcumv.com).

CLINT BLACK has had a profound effect on the music industry, not only through his own recordings, but also through the establishment of his brainchild, Equity Music Group, a record company he co-founded in 2003. He is a profound, not to mention prolific, songwriter. To date, he has written, recorded and released more than 100 songs, a benchmark in any artist's career. An astounding one third of the songs eligible for single release achieved hit song status at Country Radio. He has sold over 20 million albums worldwide. As a musician, he profoundly astounds-he is an accomplished guitarist, and humbly describes himself as proficient on drums, harmonica, bass guitar and any assortment of percussion instruments. Black will be playing for the charity, "International Rett Syndrome Foundation."

ANDREW DICE CLAY is proud to be America's most controversial and outrageous comic of all time. Before Chappelle, before South Park; Clay was shocking audiences and breaking the rules with a never-before-seen style of hardcore comedy. When he released his debut album "DICE" the parental advisory label simply read "Warning: This album is offensive." But despite all the media backlash, Clay has remained a comic icon and the self proclaimed "Undisputed Heavyweight King of Comedy." Clay's rise to fame was meteoric; he was the first comedian to sell out Madison Square Garden two nights in a row plus hundreds of other sports arenas from coast to Coast. And along the way, Clay starred in numerous feature films including "The Adventures of Ford Fairland," released best selling DVDs ("No Apologies," "Dice Rules!") and a string of multi gold and platinum selling CD's ("Day The Laughter Died," "Filth"). In 2007, Clay starred in his own reality show "Dice: Undisputed" for VH1. Clay will be playing for the charity, "Stand Up For Kids."

ANNIE DUKE has established herself as one of the best poker players in the world. In 2004, Duke beat out an assembly of 234 players in the World Series of Poker $2000 buy-in Omaha Hi/Lo Split and won her first WSOP bracelet. In August of the same year, Duke knocked out 8 of the world's greatest poker legends and won $2 million in the No-Limit Texas Hold'em winner-take-all, invitation-only WSOP Tournament of Champions, established by ESPN and Harrah's Entertainment. Duke now serves as a consultant for the online poker site UltimateBet.com to ensure that their rules of poker and tournament structure match those you would find in the famous poker rooms of the Las Vegas strip. Furthermore, she is sought after for her vast poker skills and knowledge, coaching the likes of Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Ashton Kutcher and Charles Barkley on their poker game. Duke regularly offers a private poker lesson with herself as an auction item for charity auctions and has raised funds to benefit numerous charities. Duke is also involved in various charitable organizations such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Ante Up for Africa (a project with Actor Don Cheadle), Children's Hospital, and many others. Duke will be playing for the charity, "Refugees International."

TOM GREEN, who made a name for himself on his MTV hit show, "The Tom Green Show," returned to his talk-show roots with "Tom Green Live!" Not bound by FCC regulations or television executives, this cutting-edge, one-hour talk show breaks the traditional mold and puts Green one-on-one with Hollywood's most well-known and accomplished entertainers. Most known for his roles in feature films "Freddy Got Fingered," "Charlie's Angels," "Stealing Harvard" and "Road Trip," Green has continued writing, producing and directing numerous film projects. Currently in post-production, Green is also editing "Prankstar," a film in which he wrote, directed and starred. Green continues to star in and produce television projects. In 2001, Green wrote, directed and starred in the special "The Tom Green Cancer Special," which focused on his battle with testicular cancer and the importance of health education. In 2005, Green also added bestselling author to his long professional repertoire. In his autobiography "Hollywood Causes Cancer: The Tom Green Story," Green details his professional and personal life. Green opens up about his humble upbringing in Ottawa, his beginnings in comedy, and his transition into television and films. Green will be playing for the charity, "Butch Walts and Donald Skinner Urologic Cancer Research Foundation."

NATALIE GULBIS is an American professional golfer. In 2000-2001, Gulbis attended the University of Arizona where she won three tournaments and was recognized with First Team All-American honors. Gulbis experienced a breakout season in 2005, finishing tied for third at the Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill and the State Farm Classic, earning over $1 million for the first time in her career. She also qualified for her first Solheim Cup and scored three points for the victorious U.S. team. Gulbis' game and confidence strengthened throughout 2006, as she recorded a tie for third at the 2006 Kraft Nabisco Championship (her fourth straight top-ten finish at a major dating back to 2005) and a tie for second at the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic (losing in a playoff). Her first LPGA Tour victory arrived in 2007 at the Evian Masters, where she birdied the first hole of a sudden-death playoff. Her best season to date ended with a team victory at the Solheim Cup and a runner-up finish at the season-ending ADT Championship. She has starred in her own reality television series on the Golf Channel, created her own line of fashion calendars, contributed to numerous charities and graced red carpets for events such as Fashion Week and The Grammys. Gulbis will be playing for the charity, "Boys and Girls Club."

SCOTT HAMILTON is one of the most recognized male figure skating stars in the world. Hamilton has won 70 titles, awards and honors including an Emmy Award nomination, induction into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame and a privileged member of the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame. He captured the attention of the world 25 years ago with his Olympic Gold medal performances in Saravejo and since has shared his love and enthusiasm for the sport as a commentator, performer and best-selling author. Hamilton co-founded, produced and starred in "Stars on Ice" for 15 years. He further inspires others as a speaker, philanthropist and cancer and brain tumor survivor. As an author, Hamilton received notable critical praise for his New York Times best-selling autobiography Landing It (Kensington Books, October 1999) an intimate, candid and insightful look at his professional and personal life on and off the ice. His new inspirational book "The Great Eight" was published by Thomas Nelson Publishing in January 2009. Hamilton will be playing for the charity, "The Cleveland Clinic Foundation."

JESSE JAMES can be called many things: custom bike and car builder, producer, publisher, television host and restaurateur. James is currently in production for his new show "Jesse James Is A Dead Man" which will premiere on Spike TV. This past summer, James hit the road and toured across the United States to talk to the American worker one-on-one to launch his new clothing line Jesse James Industrial Work Wear, which is currently available in Wal-Mart stores nationwide. James also founded West Coast Choppers, which creates custom made motorcycles. In 2000, James was the subject of "Motorcycle Mania" which chronicled his everyday life as a motorcycle builder on the Discovery Channel. James established a loyal following who would tune in for 85 episodes to watch the anti-host in his best known role on the international television hit "Monster Garage," which he produced and starred in. In 2006, he opened the restaurant Cisco Burger, named after his beloved pit bull Cisco. James will be playing for the charity, "Long Beach Education Foundation."

CLAUDIA JORDAN is a model for NBC's "Deal or No Deal" and currently holds the # 1 box, indicative of her rise up in the business. Jordan became Miss Teen Rhode Island and later competed in Miss Teen USA. As an adult, she won Miss Rhode Island USA and competed in the Miss USA pageant. It was only the third time in 46 years that anyone representing Rhode Island made the top ten. East Providence even named May 16th "Claudia Jordan Day." Besides competing in pageants, Jordan was an impressive sprinter and earned all-state honors in track and field. She competed in several Junior Olympics and in college became an All-American sprinter in the 400-meter relay. Jordan is also fluent in Italian - her mom is first generation to come to the United States from Italy. After moving to Los Angeles, she became a model on "The Price is Right." She then went on to co-host a TV show with Carmen Electra called "Livin' Large" and worked as a correspondent for "The Best Damn Sports Show" and "5.4.3.2.1." She even had the opportunity to work with "Entertainment Tonight" for NFL Super Bowl Media day. In 2009, she will be featured alongside Luke Wilson in the new film entitled "Middlemen." Jordan is also a real estate investor. Jordan will be playing for the charity, "NAPSAC Foundation."

KHLOE KARDASHIAN is the youngest of the three sisters introduced to Hollywood with the dramedy "Keeping Up with the Kardashians." The show, which has quickly became one of the highest-rated shows on E!, gives the audience a glimpse into the lives of the Kardashian clan. The hit series rocketed 24-year-old Kardashian into the spotlight, enabling her to develop her own fan base, prove her strengths as a TV personality and initiate a series of projects to keep her busy. Aside from maintaining her daily blog, which reached one million views in its first month of launching, Kardashian now works as a spokesperson for Crest. She contributes to MSN.com and uses her attractive, outgoing personality to host behind-the-scenes and red carpet events for Celebuzz. In addition to dealing with the newfound responsibilities of being a reality star, Kardashian also manages DASH, the high-end women's boutique in Calabasas, California that she owns and runs with her two sisters. Kardashian will be playing for the charity, "The Brent Shapiro Foundation for Alcohol and Drug Awareness."

BRIAN MCKNIGHT has defined the true meaning of American soul man since 1991. In addition to a stellar career as a singer/songwriter, McKnight has conquered all mediums including selling over 16 million albums. From his starring role on Broadway in "Chicago" this past winter to his upcoming gig as host of BET's "Soul Sessions," McKnight can also be heard everyday as the host of 94.7 The Wave's morning program "The Brian McKnight Morning Show." McKnight's most recent album "Ten" can be found in stores now. McKnight will be playing for the charity, "Youthville USA."

JOAN RIVERS is a force of nature, and one of the hardest working celebrities in the world. Comedienne, Tony-nominated actress, best-selling author, Emmy Award-winning television talk-show host, playwright, screenwriter, motion picture director, columnist, lecturer, syndicated radio host, jewelry designer and cosmetic company entrepreneur, red-carpet fashion laureate, businesswoman and, most importantly to her, mother and grandmother. Rivers' career skyrocketed in 1968 when she appeared on "The Tonight Show" starring Johnny Carson. Within three years she was hosting "That Show with Joan Rivers," one of the first syndicated daytime shows, and went on to become the first sole guest host of "The Tonight Show." Her own "The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers" helped launch the Fox Network in 1986. In 1989, she returned to daytime television with "The Joan Rivers Show," winning an Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host the following year, and her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1990, she launched the Joan Rivers Classics Collection of fashion jewelry on QVC. Along with her daughter Melissa, she hosted E!'s red-carpet events from 1996-2004. From 2004-2007 they continued their "must-see" red-carpet coverage for the TV Guide Channel, garnering the highest ratings ever for the channel. Rivers will be playing for the charity, "God's Love We Deliver."

MELISSA RIVERS, in all of her splendorous glamour on the red carpet, is also an Ivy League graduate, an accomplished equestrian and the mother of a young son. Rivers is also an executive producer and has ample experience behind the camera as well as in front of it. The University of Pennsylvania graduate joined her mother, Joan Rivers, on the red carpet at E! Entertainment where they started the red carpet phenomenon. The acerbic, dynamic duo even made it to celebrate their 1,000th interview on the Emmys red carpet - a huge milestone indeed. During her time at E!, Rivers produced and hosted a number of specials - two of which were the channel's highest rated - "Oh Baby! Melissa's Guide to Pregnancy" and "Oh, Toddler! Surviving the Early Years." When the Rivers women took their red carpet programming over to the TV Guide Channel a few years ago, the ratings soared. Rivers has produced and hosted a number of specials and series including "TV Candy," a weekly series that highlights TV fashion, the annual Mother's Day special, The Stylist Special, the series "Stars First Jobs" (all produced with Steven Jensen) that features celebrities hilariously going back to their first jobs. Rivers and her production company also produce all of the red carpet programs. Rivers will be playing for the charity, "Lili Claire Foundation."

BRANDE RODERICK started her first company in 2000 called She-Ra Productions, a film and television production company. She also manages two other companies including Financiallyhung.com. Financiallyhung.com started out as an idea for a t-shirt, which then grew to the idea of using the name for a professional social network. In addition to "The Celebrity Apprentice," Roderick will be starring in a new reality show with Brooke Burke and Tracy Bingham called "Flirty 30's," a mix between "Sex and the City" and "Desperate Housewives." Most recently, she guest starred in "The Game," on the CW Network. Roderick also hosts a show on the Reelz Channel called, "What I Learned from the Movies." Additionally, Roderick has recently held supporting roles in several movies including "The Nanny Diaries" starring Scarlet Johansen, "Starsky & Hutch," "Dracula II" and "Hood of Horror" starring alongside Snoop Dog. Roderick will be playing for the charity, "CPYC - California Police Youth Charities."

DENNIS RODMAN is a retired NBA player who played for the Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks. Born in Trenton, New Jersey, he was nicknamed "Dennis the Menace" and "The Worm" and was known for his fierce defensive and rebounding ability. Playing small forward in his early years before becoming a power forward, Rodman earned NBA All-Defensive First Team honors seven times and was voted NBA Defensive Player of the Year twice. Rodman also led the NBA in rebounds per game for a record seven consecutive years and won five NBA Championships. Apart from basketball, Rodman is a part-time professional wrestler as well as a restaurateur. He had his own TV show "The Rodman World Tour" and had lead roles in the action films "Simon Sez" and "Double Team" alongside Jean-Claude Van Damme. Rodman was the winner of the $222,000 main prize on the 2005 edition of "The Celebrity Mole." Additionally, he participated in the U.K. "Celebrity Big Brother" and hosted "Geek to Freak" on Mark Cuban's HDNet. He is a long-time vegetarian, and in 2005, he became the first man (and the first sports star) to pose (naked) for PETA's advertisement campaign "Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur." Rodman will be playing for the charity, "CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of New Orleans."

HERSCHEL WALKER's collegiate football career is legendary. As a freshman at the University of Georgia, Walker's performance helped capture the 1980 national football title. He earned consensus All-American honors three consecutive years, set numerous NCAA and SEC records and capped a sensational college career by earning, in his junior year, the 1982 Heisman Trophy. In 2002 he was voted into the Collegiate Football Hall of Fame and was selected as the second greatest player in college football history, just behind the legendary Red Grange. In 1983, Walker gave up his final year of collegiate eligibility and turned professional. During his 15-year pro football career, Walker's accomplishments include a) setting the still standing, single-season, pro football rushing record of 2411 yards, b) leading the NFL in rushing, c) gaining more total yards than anyone in professional football history and d) receiving numerous all-pro and pro Bowl honors. Currently, Walker is founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Renaissance Man Food Service, LLC (RMFS), a certified minority business that produces Herschel's Famous 34, a line of flavorful frozen chicken, beef, pork and seafood entrees and appetizers. Walker will be playing for the charity, "Alternative Community Development Services (dba Project Turnaround)."

TIONNE WATKINS is best known as "T-Boz," the lead singer of the best-selling female group of all time, TLC, with over 18 million albums sold worldwide. In addition to her success as a musician, Watkins is also a successful actress, producer and a tireless fundraiser for many important charities. She has been named one of People Magazine's "50 most beautiful people" twice and appeared as Josephine Baker in revered makeup artist Kevin Aucoin's book "Making Faces." As president of her own entertainment company, Shee Entertainment, Watkins was the executive producer of the hit film, "ATL." As an actress, she received rave reviews for her role in the film "Belly" and guest starred on the long-running sitcom "Living Single." She also had a small role in the feature film "House Party III." Watkins authored the book "Thoughts" in 1999 and is currently working on her own children's clothing line. Watkins is the national spokesperson for the Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation. Her efforts on the group's behalf led her to be named by the Iris Captor-UCLA Women's Health Center as one of the top ten women in health education along with others, such as Katie Couric and Oprah Winfrey. Her charity work and incredible contribution to the entertainment industry have come to define Watkins as one of the most influential and important performers of her generation. Watkins will be playing for the charity, "Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia."





  [january 2009]  
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· APPRENTICE, THE (NBC)





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