Donald Trump's salary on The Apprentice: He demanded a whopping $6M an episode, reveals book

Donald Trump reportedly demanded $6 million an episode for hosting The Apprentice during its second season. Here’s what went down behind the scenes!

Donald Trump The Apprentice requested salary $6 Million
© James Devaney/Getty_Images
Donald Trump The Apprentice requested salary $6 Million

If there’s one thing that Donald Trump loves the most, it’s money. Back in the day, he belonged to the Trump empire that his grandfather allegedly established by running a brothel, as per a book called The Trumps: Three Generations That Built an Empire. Trump then went on to carve his own career path and ended up appearing on NBC’s The Apprentice. He was a part of 14 seasons of the show before leaving it to run a political campaign - Trump’s version of the exit.

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Over the years there have been many claims that he made racist remarks for people of colour on the show and even used a derogatory word for a black contestant who could have potentially been winner of season 1.

Donald Trump demanded $6 Million an episode for hosting The Apprentice season two

Recounting his time on the famous show, Trump helped Vanity Fair’s co-editor-in-chief Ramin Setoodeh in writing a book on him. Setoodeh’s upcoming book - Apprentice in Wonderland: How Donald Trump and Mark Burnett Took America Through the Looking Glass - details Trump’s experience as a reality TV show host and his relationship with NBCUniversal.

In an excerpt from the book, that is set to be published on June 18, Donald Trump has revealed that he demanded a whopping $6 million for hosting the second season of TheApprentice. According to PeopleMagazine, Trump received a salary of $25,000 an episode. However, during the second season, he realised that NBC’s hit show FRIENDS was ending - making his show the most-watched. Trump jumped to this conclusion as stats revealed that The Apprentice had more viewers than reruns of FRIENDS.

It was reported at that time that the FRIENDS cast earned $1 million an episode each. Calculating how his show made more than theirs, Trump demanded $6 million per episode. He told Setoodeh:

Friends had six people. They’re getting $1 million an episode each. That’s $6 million. So if they’re getting $6 million, and I have higher ratings than they do—because this is the end of Friends, and they were fading out—I said, 'You should pay me $6 million an episode.’

The network naturally denied his demand and threatened to get someone else for the show. The former POTUS thought at that time that he just ‘killed’ his career, but NBC’s then-CEO Jeff Zucker called him a day later to negotiate his salary. The 77-year-old did not reveal the exact amount but confirmed that the network paid him ‘a lot.’ He claimed he made over $500 million in total on the show.

Was Donald Trump fired from The Apprentice?

After the salary debacle, Trump and NBC’s partnership was going smoothly for both parties. He even starred in the spin-off The Celebrity Apprentice. However, it all went down the drain in 2015, when Trump decided to run for president. After announcing his presidential run, he also announced that he would leave the show as NBC is ‘unhappy’ about his political ambitions and he legally cannot do both, reports Mirror.

In his exit statement, Trump said:

The top people came to my office and they said, ‘Please do this [The Apprentice].’ Essentially, legally, I'm not allowed to do it.

However, a day later NBC released a statement revealing that they have cut all ties with Trump because of his vile remarks about Mexico. Reportedly, in one of his speeches, Trump said he would build strong borders for the US so Mexico would stop sending ‘rapists, drug dealers and criminals.’ NBC released a statement saying that these derogatory statements by Trump have forced them to end their business relationship with him.

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Sources Used

Vanity Fair: Trump Lashes Out at Jeff Zucker as ‘Human Scum,’ Recalls Getting Denied $6 Million an Episode for Hosting ‘The Apprentice’

People Magazine: Donald Trump Asked for $6 Million an Episode to Host The Apprentice — Equal to the Friends Cast's Combined Salary

Mirror: Why Donald Trump was sacked from The Apprentice - and his unexpected replacement

Donald Trump: White House correspondent's new book reveals details about his marriage to Melania Donald Trump: White House correspondent's new book reveals details about his marriage to Melania