[09/14/05 - 12:00 AM]
NBC's "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart" Debuts WeD., SepT. 21, 8 P.M. ET/PT

[via press release from NBC]



"I won't be 'firing' the candidates. I don't like 'firing' people...I've never even said 'You're fired,'" said Martha Stewart.

Candidates Rewrite Classic Fairy Tales for Random House Children's Books

NEW YORK - September 14, 2005 - In one week, NBC's unscripted series "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart" kicks off its thirteen-week televised job interview for a coveted $250,000 position working alongside Martha Stewart at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (Sept. 21, 8-9 pm ET/PT). "'The Apprentice: Martha Stewart' will provide people with a really good idea of what a company started by a woman, built by a woman and run by a team of excellent young executives can actually accomplish in a very short period of time," said Martha Stewart.

Viewers first meet the 16 candidates - 10 women and six men - during the series' opening sequence set to The Eurythmics hit, "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)." The candidates then meet Martha Stewart's lieutenants Alexis Stewart, Consultant, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc and Charles Koppelman, Chairman of the Board, MSLO in her conference room. Alexis Stewart breaks the tension by saying, "I know my mother better than anyone. I was the original 'Apprentice' and I haven't been fired yet." Added Martha Stewart, "I won't be 'firing' the candidates. I don't like 'firing' people...I've never even said 'You're fired,'" said Martha Stewart.

"Jack and the Beanstalk" and "Hansel and Gretel" Updated

For their first task, the candidates will learn about one of the hottest niches in the publishing business - children's literature. Each team will update a classic fairy tale - "Jack and the Beanstalk" and "Hansel and Gretel" - making the stories relevant to the modern child. Working alongside executives at Random House Children's Books, the candidates will rewrite and illustrate each tale and then read their finished product to a class of first-graders.

"Lesson number one, rule number one: You have to connect with your customer," said Martha Stewart. "If you're writing a children's book, you have to connect with the reader. Do you connect? Are you able to make an immediate connection with that publication that is going to be lasting, memorable, effective, teach a lesson or a moral? If you don't connect, you are not going to be successful."

"As the longtime publisher of Martha Stewart's incredibly successful cooking and lifestyle books, we at Random House, Inc. have learned that it is very worth our while to listen when Martha calls us excited about a creative idea," said Chip Gibson, President and Publisher of Random House Children's Books. "We jumped at the chance to work with her on 'The Apprentice: Martha Stewart' episode in which she offers the audience a terrific window into our business (albeit at a wildly accelerated pace). We look forward to giving Martha's viewers an entertaining debut program and to publishing the winning book the morning after the show's premiere. Our gang here worked incredibly hard with Martha and her team on this project-and had a ball."

Random House Children's Books is the world's largest English-language children's trade book publisher. Creating books for toddlers through young adult readers, in all formats from board books to activity books to picture books to novels and narrative nonfiction, the imprints of Random House Children's Books offer publishing programs that bring together world-famous franchise characters, multimillion-copy series, and top-flight award-winning authors and illustrators. Random House Children's Books is a division of Random House, Inc., whose parent company is Bertelsmann AG, a leading international media company.

"The Apprentice: Martha Stewart" is produced by Mark Burnett Productions. Mark Burnett, Jay Bienstock and Donald J. Trump are executive producers. Conrad Riggs and Kevin Harris are co-executive producers.

  [september 2005]  


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