NBC sends Donald Trump a warning

The network's entertainment unit says it'll take action if the celebrity businessman 'does things that cross a line.'

By Aimee Picchi Jan 7, 2013 11:59AM

Credit: Donna Ward/Getty Images
Caption: Donald Trump leaves 'The Late Show with David Letterman' at Ed Sullivan Theater on October 25, 2012As the host of NBC's "The Celebrity Apprentice," real estate developer Donald Trump walks a fine line between generating buzz -- and viewers -- and creating animosity. 

Now, Trump might want to make sure he keeps on the "buzz" side of the equation, with Comcast's (CMCSA) NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt saying the network will take action if he "becomes somehow hurtful and says or does things that cross a line," according to a report in Deadline.com

Some might say Trump has already stepped over the line: a petition started last year aimed at urging Macy's (M) to sever ties with Trump has gained almost 680,000 signatures.

According to the petition, Trump has "engaged in sexist behavior" and "perpetuated the racially charged birther conspiracy," among its complaints. The same campaign, from the liberal group MoveOn.org, last month hired a mobile billboard reading "Dump Trump" to circle Macy's corporate headquarters. 

Macy's has sidestepped the issue, with chief executive Terry Lundgren noting that the perfume, clothing and other merchandise it sells bearing Trump's name "are not representative of any political position," according to the New York Daily News

So far, it seems Trump is on NBC's good side. The network renewed his show, with "Celebrity Apprentice" returning on March 3 for an all-star edition. (The star power in the newest edition of Trump's long-running show is debatable, relying on competitors from the program's fast five seasons. They include actors Stephen Baldwin and Gary Busey and musicians Dee Snider and Bret Michaels.)

Cracks might be showing in Trump's ratings pull, however. In May, "Celebrity Apprentice" drew the program's lowest-rated finale episode, with only 6.8 million viewers tuning in. That's a far cry from the 12.1 million viewers who watched the show's finale in 2008, when Piers Morgan won the competition.

Despite the flagging ratings, "Celebrity Apprentice" is still a workhorse for NBC -- and Greenblatt adds that the network doesn't think Trump has crossed that line yet. 

"He has his political belief system but I really don’t think what he’s doing in his personal life is going to corrupt what he’s doing on the show," Greenblatt said. He spoke at the Television Critics Association tour, held this week in California.

He added, referring to Trump's toying with the idea of running for president in the last election, "We talked him out of running for president, wasn't that good enough?"

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Jan 7, 2013 1:44PM
Controls Assoc not like FOX is any better , huh, assh*le?
Jan 7, 2013 1:39PM
Why does  strump always look like he is having a pineapple being inserted or removed from his mule hole ?

Jan 7, 2013 1:34PM
Everyone could do this the old way Ann boycott NBC and msnbc to let them know what real people think of them

Jan 7, 2013 1:31PM

In the beginning Donald Trump tried to cultivate a reputation of quality and being high class. He ruined that reputation a long time ago with his stupidity. He will go down the drain with all of the other low information idiots like rush limp balls and glen beck.

Jan 7, 2013 1:21PM
No problem with giving Trump 15 minutes of fame but certainly not 4 years of fame.
Jan 7, 2013 1:16PM
So wait, Ellen Barkin can tweet that she wants all gun owners to get shot and die, and then go out and get  a new part on a TV show after having no actual work for years. No complaints of MSNBC issues there! Danny Glover continues to get work, despite his love for and visits murderer/socilaist  Hugo Chavez, same thing. Don't even get me started on Sean Penn!!!
Jan 7, 2013 12:44PM
What a joke. NBC is the most biased, lying network.   MSNBC is disgusting .
Jan 7, 2013 12:42PM
I don't know why any sane person would watch Donald Trump - he's a blowhard who can't keep a wife even though he deliberately picks submissive women.   Maybe people him for the same reason they watch the Kardashians - to make fun of them.   
Jan 7, 2013 12:35PM
Trump is highly under rated. I think he would make a much better president than Obama. He is a stellar businessman, unflapable and savvy. When the liberals start putting their media lap  dogs to  work you know he's getting to them.
Jan 7, 2013 12:20PM
Good to see that Baldwin and Busey can still find work. There may be hope for us all..
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