On Friday, Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that he was leaving as host of "Celebrity Apprentice."
You'll recall that NBC renewed the show but Donald Trump could not be host because of his presidency, so NBC and executive director Mark Burnett brought in the former bodybuilder to host the show. It was not a stellar success. It its heyday the program attracted upwards of 7 million viewers; but the show hadn't been on the air since 2015, no one seemed to miss it, and Arnold's ratings hovered around or just under 4 million viewers. His announcement that he was leaving started yet another Twitter war with the Tweeter In Chief:
President Donald Trump dusted off his signature line Saturday, claiming Arnold Schwarzenegger was fired from "The Celebrity Apprentice." The president's allegation came after the actor blamed him for the show's poor ratings.
"Arnold Schwarzenegger isn't voluntarily leaving the Apprentice, he was fired by his bad (pathetic) ratings, not by me," the president tweeted. "Sad end to great show."
FollowDonald J. Trump ✔@realDonaldTrump
Arnold Schwarzenegger isn't voluntarily leaving the Apprentice, he was fired by his bad (pathetic) ratings, not by me. Sad end to great show8:19 AM - 4 Mar 2017
Schwarzenegger quickly responded to the president's claims, tweeting "You should think about hiring a new joke writer and a fact checker."
You should think about hiring a new joke writer and a fact checker. https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/838016045222854656 …8:57 AM - 4 Mar 2017
In a statement announcing his departure, Schwarzenegger thanked the show's cast and crew but said he was leaving because of the show's "baggage."
We don't know if the low ratings were due to a tune-out factor of the former Governor and the baggage he brought to the show, or was it the name of Donald J. Trump that kept viewers away? Or were they just tired of the concept. Or were more people interested in watching The Bachelor, which aired opposite Celebrity Apprentice.
Regardless, most TV critics said today that Schwarzenegger could not be the only one to blame: his role as host was minimal, since he only appeared on camera to explain the tasks and announce who was fired.
NBC has yet to announce if the show might be back at some point, but I wouldn't hold my breath.
Too bad: I loved the show and concept, regardless of who was doing the firing.