NBC Says Celebrity Apprentice Will Return Without Donald Trump
08/13/2015 AT 03:35 PM EDT
"He is a lovely guy. He was very much of a collaborator and worked with us closely on Celebrity Apprentice and is a really effusive great guy," said NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt when asked about their working relationship with Trump at the Television Critics Association press tour Thursday. "We weren't in any adversarial position. We had no controversies. He had his own personal controversies. It was a congenial, really great relationship."
"I don't think somebody who is running for president and might possibly be the next leader of the free world could be banned from any activities at NBC, but we'll just have to see how this plays out," Greenblatt continued. "I honestly don't know. At the moment, we're sort of separated."
The network released a statement June 29 announcing it would no longer air the pageants – which are part of the Miss Universe Organization, a highly lucrative enterprise co-owned by Trump and NBC Universal – following Trump's inflammatory comments about Mexican immigrants made during a speech announcing his candidacy for president.
Regarding the NBC's progress towards selling off itsinterest in the Miss Universe enterprise, Greenblatt said, "Yes, we're almost done with that."
Greenblatt also announced that Celebrity Apprentice will not air during the upcoming season but will return for the "2016-17 season with a new host."
When asked if Trump, 69, would ever return to host Celebrity Apprentice, Greenblatt responded, "Absolutely not."