Created by U.S.-based British producer Mark Burnett, the show depicts contestants from around the country with various professional backgrounds in an elimination-style competition to become an apprentice to a businessman. Burnett developed the show after previous success in bringing Survivor to the U.S. Since its premiere, The Apprentice has spawned several licensed international versions as well as unlicensed imitations.
The U.S. version of The Apprentice is the first version of the reality game show franchise. It was broadcast on NBC and billed as "The Ultimate Job Interview". The show depicted a group of 15–18 businessmen and -women competing in an elimination competition for a one-year, US$250,000 job to run one of real estate magnate Donald Trump's companies. The position starts with an introductory one-year contract with a starting yearly salary of $250,000.
The first season aired during winter and spring of 2004, executive-produced by Trump, Mark Burnett and Jay Bienstock, who also hosts the show. The show led Trump to become known for his fateful catch phrase "You're Fired!". The theme song for the show is "For the Love of Money" by The O'Jays, and other themes and underscore are written by composers Mark T. Williams and Jeff Lippencott of Ah2 Music.
During Trump's reign over the show, the contestants lived communally in a suite at Trump Tower in New York City and the boardroom showdown was with Trump and two of his associates (usually Carolyn Kepcher, former chief operating officer (COO) and general manager for the Trump National Golf Club, and George H. Ross, Executive Vice President and Senior Counsel, The Trump Organization). Season 6 saw the show move to Los Angeles. On May 14, 2007, NBC announced the show was not on its fall 2007 schedule, but that a decision to cancel or renew it had not yet been made. On May 19, 2007, Trump announced that he was "moving on from The Apprentice", effectively ending the series. However, on May 22, NBC responded by saying Trump still had a year left on his contract. On July 16, 2007, NBC renewed the show with a sequel series, Celebrity Apprentice, The sequel debuted with season seven on January 3, 2008. The eighth season of The Apprentice premiered on NBC on March 1, 2009. Similar to the previous season, all contestants were celebrities playing for charity. The ninth season of The Apprentice began in Spring 2010, also featuring a celebrity cast.
Actor and former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger replaced Trump as the host of The Apprentice, beginning in Season 15, due to Trump's presidential campaign and subsequent election as President of the United States.
There are currently over 70 winners of the format, the first being Bill Rancic of the United States.
|Africa||The Apprentice Africa||Mr. Biodun Shobanjo|| NTA
|Season 1, 2008: Isaac Dankyi-Koranteng|
|Asia||The Apprentice Asia||Tony Fernandes||AXN Asia||Season 1, 2013: Jonathan Allen Yabut|
|Arab World||الإدارة جدارة
El Idara Jadara
|Mohamed Ali Alabbar||LBC||Season 1, 2005: Cancelled|
|Australia||The Apprentice Australia||Mark Bouris||Nine||You're fired!||Season 1, 2009: Andrew Morello|
|The Celebrity Apprentice Australia|
|Belgium||De Topmanager||Rob Heyvaert||VT4||Season 1, 2006: Claudia Schiepers|
|Brazil||O Aprendiz||Roberto Justus||Rede Record||Você está demitido!||
Season 1, 2004: Vivianne Ventura
|João Doria Jr.|
|Aprendiz Celebridades||Roberto Justus|
|Stefan Sharlopov||Nova TV||Ти си уволнен!
You are fired!
|Season 1, 2016: 100 Kila|
|Colombia||El Aprendiz||Jean-Claude Bessudo||Canal Caracol||¡Estás despedido!||Season 1, 2006: Kees Stapel|
| Czech Republic &
|Šéfka||Nora Mojsejová||TV Prima
|U mňa si dnes skončil!||Season 1, 2011: Michal Pilip|
|Denmark||Hyret Eller Fyret||Klaus Riskaer Pedersen||Kanal 5||Du er fyret||Season 1, 2005: Louise Holm|
|Estonia||Mantlipärija||Armin Karu||TV3||Season 1, 2007: Sverre Puustusmaa|
|Finland||Diili||Jari Sarasvuo||MTV3||Olet vapautettu||Season 1, 2005: Olli Rikala|
|Hjallis Harkimo||Sä saat potkut!||Season 2, 2009: Antti Seppinen
Season 3, 2010: Mira Kasslin
Season 4, 2011: Jarno Purtsi
|Germany||Big Boss||Reiner Calmund||RTL||Sie haben frei||Season 1, 2004: Carmen Dohmen|
|Lado Gurgenidze||Rustavi 2||Season 1, 2004: Luka Lomaia|
|Kakha Bendukidze||Imedi||Season 1, 2011: Current Season|
|Indonesia||The Apprentice Indonesia||Peter F. Gontha||Indosiar (2005)||Anda saya pecat||Season 1, 2005: Fendi Gunawan Liem
Season 2, 2009: Charles Minin
Season 3, 2010: Nurudin Bin Syarif
Season 4, 2011: Oki Musakti
Season 5, 2016: TBA
|Ireland||The Apprentice||Bill Cullen||TV3||You are fired!||Season 1, 2008: Brenda Shanahan
Season 2, 2009: Steve Rayner
Season 3, 2010: Michelle Massey
Season 4, 2011: Eugene Heary
|Celebrity Apprentice Ireland||Caroline Downey||Season 1, 2013: Edele Lynch|
|Italy||The Apprentice||Flavio Briatore||Cielo
|Sei fuori!||Season 1, 2012: Francesco Menegazzo
Season 2, 2014: Alice Maffezzoli
|Netherlands||De Nieuwe Moszkowicz||Bram Moszkowicz||AVRO||Season 1, 2005: Nienke Hoogervorst|
|Topmanager Gezocht||BNN||Met jou ga ik niet ondernemen!||Season 1, 2011: Rogier Berlips|
|New Zealand||The Apprentice New Zealand||Terry Serepisos||TV2||Season 1, 2010: Thomas Ben|
|Norway||Kandidaten||Inger Ellen Nicolaisen||TVNORGE||Du har sparken||Season 1, 2005: Jeanette Bretteville|
|Portugal||Temos Negócio||Leonor Poeiras||TVI||Season 1, 2015–16: Luís & Rodrigo|
|Arkady Novikov||TNT||Вы уволены
Season 1, 2005: Tatyana Burdelova
Season 2, 2006: ??
|South Africa||The Apprentice:SA||Tokyo Sexwale||SABC3||You're dismissed!||Season 1, 2009: Zanele Batyashe & Khomotso Choma|
|Spain||El Aprendiz||Lluís Bassat||La Sexta||Estás despedido||Season 1, 2009: Juan Ignacio Lanchares|
|Switzerland||Traum Job||Jürg Marquar||SF1||Sie sind raus||Season 1, 2005: Martin Bachofner|
|Turkey||Çırak||Tuncay Özilhan||Kanal D||Seninle çalışmak istemiyorum!||Season 1, 2005: Ahmet Isik|
|United Kingdom||The Apprentice||(Lord) Alan Sugar||BBC Two (2005–06)
BBC One (2007–)
Series 1, 2005: Tim Campbell
|United States||The Apprentice||Donald Trump||NBC||You're fired!||Season 1, 2004: Bill Rancic
|The Apprentice: Martha Stewart||Martha Stewart||You just don't fit in!||Season 1, 2005: Dawna Stone
|The Celebrity Apprentice||Donald Trump||You're fired!||Season 7, 2008: Piers Morgan
|Arnold Schwarzenegger||You're terminated!||Season 15, 2017: Matt Iseman
|Vietnam||The Apprentice Vietnam||TBA||VTV||Bạn bị sa thải!||Season 1, 2016: TBD|
An African version, The Apprentice Africa is hosted by advertising magnate and co-founder of Insight Communications, Mr. Biodun Shobanjo. The Apprentice Africa is based in Lagos, Nigeria. It is aired in Nigeria on (Nigerian Television Authority), Silverbird TV, Super Screen, and MBI Television; Ghana on (TV3); Kenya on (KTN); Uganda on (WBS); and Tanzania (TBC1). It premiered in February 2008. Eighteen contestants on the show come from Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Cameroon, and Republic of Guinea. Owner Patrick E. Isibor and Jajaebu Kamarou.
The maiden edition of The Apprentice Africa was won by Isaac Dankyi-Koranteng, a 31-year-old Sales Manager from Ghana. Isaac beat Eunice Omole, a Nigerian American in a final show that saw most of the evicted contestants supporting the winner. Isaac was hired for Bank PHB Plc and will be assigned special responsibilities, by the Managing Director and CEO of the bank, which include research and development of products, and roll-out strategy for the bank in new markets, with supervision by the Apprentice-Africa "CEO," Mr. Biodun Shobanjo.
The Australian version of The Apprentice began airing September 28, 2009 on the Nine Network. The host is Mark Bouris, the founder of and Chairman of Wizard Home Loans. The series is produced by the production company FremantleMedia. Sales consultant Andrew Morello won the series and was employed as a sales director to Bouris. Morello is currently Head of Business Development at Bouris' wealth management company, Yellow Brick Road.
The Celebrity Apprentice Australia began screening on the Nine Network in October 2011, with comedian Julia Morris winning the first season. Two more seasons followed. The show did not air in 2014, but returned in 2015 for a fourth season, with singer and model Sophie Monk winning.
The South African version that aired on SABC3 is hosted by Tokyo Sexwale, a mining magnate. During the live finale 22 September, Mr. Sexwale hired the final two—Zanele Batyashe, 24, and Khomotso Choma, 34, which not only elicited anger from viewers, but also resulted in complaints across the country after the announcement was made. Later, US Series 4 winner Randal Pinkett recommended Trump not do so in the finale (See US Series 4) after he pondered hiring the runner-up, something which may have been inspired by this incident. The catch phrase Tokyo Sexwale used was "You're dismissed!"
O Aprendiz, a Brazilian version of The Apprentice hosted by marketing businessman Roberto Justus, premiered on 4 November 2004. People+Arts (a cable channel that broadcasts The Apprentice in Latin America) and Rede Record (a Brazilian broadcasting network) teamed up with Fremantle Media to create the show. Justus' catchphrase is "Você está demitido" ("you're fired"). For 2009 and 2010, the show had businessman João Doria, Jr. as the host.
Justus returned in 2013 to host the ninth season with a cast of candidates from previous seasons. In late 2013, Rede Record confirmed the first season of Aprendiz Celebridades, a Brazilian version of Celebrity Apprentice, which premiered in April 2014. The show was broadcast on Tuesdays and Thursdays with a total of 22 episodes. 15 Brazilian celebrities battled for a prize of R$100,000,00.
Hosted By Jean-Claude Bessudo, a French-born tourism entrepreneur. The show first aired in May 2005 on Canal Caracol. The Spanish version is called El Aprendiz (literal translation from the original show's name). The show's catchphrase is "Estás despedido!" (You're fired!).
Hosted by Klaus Riskaer Pedersen in the Danish version. Pedersen's catchphrase is "Du er fyret" ("you're fired"). Louise Holm was hired at the end of the first season.
The Estonian version called "Mantlipärija" was hosted by Armin Karu, the owner of the Olympic Entertainment Group (casinos & hotel chains). It was shown on TV3 at the fall of 2007.
Former talk show host and current consulting firm owner Jari Sarasvuo hosted the Finnish version on MTV3, called Diili (slang term for "deal"). Olli Rikala was the winner of the first season, although his competitor in the final was also hired, as well three of the other competitors. The show was aired in spring 2005
The second season was shown in Autumn 2009. It was hosted by well-known business entrepreneur and TV personality Harry Harkimo, whose catchphrase was "Mä annan sulle potkut!" or "Sä saat potkut!" ("You are fired"). The winner of the second season was Antti Seppinen. He was hired as the marketing manager of urban area project in Sipoo (Sipoonranta). The third season was shown in Autumn 2010 and Harry Harkimo continued as a host. The winners of the third season former Olympic track cycler Mira Kasslin. She was hired as the manager of hotel project in Hanko.
In the autumn of 2004, German TV station RTL aired an adaptation of The Apprentice on German television called Big Boss. The show was hosted by former soccer manager Reiner Calmund and only scored fair to poor ratings. The catchphrase was "Sie haben frei", or "you are excused". Carmen Dohmen was hired at the end of the first season and Sandra Trögl wound up getting fired at the end of the first season.
In September 2004 aired an adaptation of The Apprentice on German television called "Hire or Fire", produced and starred by John de Mol, on ProSieben. But the show was cancelled after only one episode due to low ratings.
Media mogul Peter Gontha is the host. The show, the first Apprentice spin-off in Asia, started on 3 October 2005, and aired every Monday on 21.30 Western Indonesian Time (GMT +7) on the television station Indosiar. According to the show's official website, the apprentice winner, a 29-year-old male whose name is Fendi Gunawan Liem, will be earning a salary of 600 million Rupiahs, equivalent to about USD 66,000. The catchphrase is "Anda saya pecat", or "you are fired". This show is repackaged on RCTI on 2016 and once again appointed Fabian Dharmawan to produce this program after successful seasons with Indonesian Idol, X Factor Indonesia, Sasuke Ninja Warrior Indonesia, and The Voice Indonesia.
An Irish version began in September 2008 on Irish broadcaster TV3. It is hosted by business mogul Bill Cullen, who has made his fortune from the motor industry, and is the owner of Renault Ireland; his company makes over €350 million annually. At the time of the announcement that Cullen would front the show, many were skeptical, saying that Cullen would not be scary, or tough enough on the contestants, however many have praised his handling of the show since then. The show is based in Dublin, and the winner receives a 12-month contract working alongside Cullen with a package worth €100,000. Although TV3 have made home-produced versions of international programmes before such as The Weakest Link, The Apprentice is without doubt proving to be the most successful for the broadcaster, attracting large viewing figures, and receiving much attention from the media in Ireland, the show's catchphrase is; You are fired!
The show's first scandal involved Joanna Murphy, one of the contestants. She had been in contact with her family between takes, even though it is forbidden according to the rules of the show. She used the Project manager laptop to communicate with her husband, and received his help in the hope of winning a task. Her team had to collect electrical equipment, and this would be recycled. The team with the most equipment won the task. It was exposed that Joanna's family and friends were actually raiding a recycling centre near Naas Racecourse, and bringing it to her teams 'special recycling centre' down the road. Each vehicle was driven by her friends and family, but viewers and cameramen were unaware of this. Some vehicles even came in more than once, but changed number registration plates, so as not to be caught by the cameras. This stunt was exposed while in the boardroom, Cullen fired her as a result. The story was in nearly all of the national newspapers in Ireland, and was the first major scandal to hit the show. RTÉ, TV3's biggest rivals, have considered the show's success, and produced their own version of Dragon's Den as a result, in the hope of also attracting Irish viewers. The Irish Apprentice ended on December 8, 2008 , with Brenda Shanahan winning in the end, after collecting the most money for her charity, and winning 10 out of 11 tasks in the series. Brenda will now start working for Bill, as his apprentice. 
The success of the first series has led to a second series being produced, which aired on TV3 in 2009. The winner of the 2009 series was Steve Rayner. He won the show, despite admitting on the show that he is a recovering alcoholic and gambler.
The Apprentice Malaysian version spin-off in Asia, started on October 3, 2005, and aired every Monday on 22.30 Malaysia time (GMT+8) on the television station TV3. The catchphrase is "Awak dipecat", or "you are fired".
In 2005, high-profile lawyer Bram Moszkowicz offered a highly paid position ("the new Moszkowicz") in his law firm in AVRO's show De Nieuwe Moszkowicz. The show focused much on the character of Moszkowicz, a flamboyant man known for defending a number of very unpopular figures, most notably Desi Bouterse. Eventually Nienke Hoogervorst won out.
In 2011, a new Dutch adaptation of The Apprentice aired, called Topmanager Gezocht, closely following the BBC format. This time, the series centered around Dutch entrepreneur Aad Ouborg, known mostly for creating and managing the Princess Household Appliances brand. The phrase used by Ouborg to fire contestants translates as I'm not going into business with you. Key scenes were filmed in Rotterdam, although the Boardroom scenes take place in a theatre in the city of Breda, which is the city where Ouborg's HQ.
Hosted by Terry Serepisos, the show will have 14 contestants each vying for the prize of getting a six-figure salary at one of Serepisos's companies. The show began screening on 16 February 2010 on TV2.
Produced for network TVNORGE, this was notable for being the first Apprentice spinoff in Europe. It is also notable for having the first female host—Hairdressing mogul Inger Ellen Nicolaisen hosted the first season of the Norwegian version. The show is titled Kandidaten (The Candidate), and the catchphrase is "Du har sparken" ("you're fired").
In Russia the show is called "Candidate" (Russian: Кандидат) and is broadcast on the TNT channel. The first season in 2005 was hosted by restaurant tycoon Arkady Novikov, and the winner, Tatyana Burdelova, was hired as the CEO for one of Novikov's companies. The second season in late summer of 2006 was hosted by the mining, metals, banking and property tycoon Vladimir Potanin. As of January 2007, Potanin's personal wealth is estimated to be $14.2 billion (roughly 369 billion rubles) , which makes him the richest host of any version of the show so far. The catchphrase is "Вы уволены", or, "You are fired".
"Candidate" failed to attract a Russian audience. British TV producer, Peter Pomerantsev credited Russian culture with its failure, writing, "The usual way to get a job in Russia is not by impressing at an interview, but by what is known as blat – 'connections'. Russian society isn’t much interested in the hard-working, brilliant young business mind."
Swiss publishing mogul Jürg Marquard hosts the show, which first aired in April 2005 on SF1. The show is titled Traum Job (Dream Job), and the catchphrase is "Sie sind raus" ("You are out"). Martin was ultimately hired at the end of the first season.
Turkey's version is hosted by one of that country's most successful businessmen, Tuncay Özilhan the CEO of Anadolu Group. The show is titled Çırak (The Apprentice), and the catchphrase is "Seninle çalışmak istemiyorum!" ("I do not want to work with you"). Ahmet Isik was the winner of the first season.
Alan, Lord Sugar, founder of electronics company Amstrad, is the boss on The Apprentice in the United Kingdom. He ranks 84th on The Sunday Times Rich List 2007 with an estimated worth of around £973m. His catchphrase is "You're fired". Like the US version, the show also has a narrator, Mark Halliley. It has a very different visual and musical style to the US series, and in keeping with BBC guidelines, features no product placement. In later series, Lord Sugar offers the winner an investment, rather than direct employment.
The show started on 16 February 2005 on BBC Two, with the final episode of the first series shown on 4 May 2005. Tim Campbell, a former transport manager for the London Underground, was ultimately hired and as a result, landed a position at Amstrad with an introductory contract of 1 year with a salary exceeding £100,000. Saira Khan was fired on the series finale but has used the show to help launch a media career, including a regular column on the BBC Apprentice website and presenter of the enterprise show Beat the Boss on CBBC. James Max, a semi-finalist of the show, presents the daily Business Update on TalkSPORT alongside Ian Wright and Adrian Durham he also covers for non-sports presenters on a regular basis. He presents two weekly shows on LBC 97.3 Radio on Saturday and Sunday evenings.
Series three of The Apprentice UK began on Wednesday 28 March 2007, 'promoted' to the more mainstream BBC One channel because of series' increasing popularity. The winner was Simon Ambrose who was chosen over Kristina Grimes.
Series four of The Apprentice UK began on Wednesday 26 March 2008 on BBC One and ran for twelve weekly episodes. A record 20,000 applications were received. The winner of the 2008 series was Lee McQueen, having beaten Claire Young, Helene Speight and Alex Wotherspoon in the final, which featured four candidates instead of the usual two. The series peaked at 9.7 million viewers during the last episode, an unprecedented figure for the series.
A spin-off show, The Apprentice: You're Fired!, is shown on BBC Two straight after the BBC One broadcast. The 30-minute programme has a studio audience and interview with the fired apprentice, and Lord Sugar usually appears in the final episode of each series.
The RTL Group holds international licence rights for the show worldwide, and the show is produced by RTL's Talkback Thames. The UK opening theme is "Dance of the Knights" from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, with the Boardroom music provided by UK artist Dru Masters.
The BBC has also screened series 1–5 of the US version (as of winter 2010), being broadcast some considerable time after the original US airing, and in the graveyard slot (11:00 pm onwards).
The television show inspired recreation of the show in form of competitions amongst student enterprise community and in 2013 has launched as a joint event called National Student Apprentice. A number of University societies organised local 'Apprentice Competitions'.
NTU in Ukraine bought the rights in 2010 and a Ukrainian version of The Apprentice was expected in 2011.
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