Martha's Daughter Joins Apprentice

08/22/2005 at 12:30 PM EDT

Martha's Daughter Joins Apprentice
(Main photo) NBC/Universal /Virginia Sherwood; (Touts)James Devaney/WireImage
When Martha Stewart's Apprentice debuts on Sept. 21, she will be joined by her daughter, Alexis, and her cigar-chomping chairman of the board Charles Koppelman in the "conference room," PEOPLE has learned.

Alexis and Charles "are a dynamic duo with me in the conference room," Martha Stewart said in a statement Monday. "No one knows me better than Alexis and she understands my way of conducting business and dealing with people. Charles brings the expertise of a legendary entrepreneur to the conference room each week."

The pair, described as Martha's "eyes and ears," are Stewart's own version of Carolyn and George, Donald Trump's boardroom advisers on the original Apprentice. Alexis Stewart said it's "an honor" to join her mom on the new show, describing herself as Martha's "original Apprentice."

"Having contributed to almost every aspect of her business empire, I know first hand what it will take for one of these sixteen candidates to win the competition and I'm not afraid to call them out in the conference room."

Last week, NBC announced the 16 hopefuls who will compete to work for the domestic mogul. The 10 women and six men, ranging in age from 22-42, run the gamut from ad executives and creative directors to accomplished chefs, lawyers, designers, a magazine publisher and a TV newscaster.

Meantime, the network still isn't ready to reveal the "You're fired"-style catchphrase that Stewart will use when axing would-be apprentices.

"Viewers will have to tune in to find out," says a source close to the show.

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