Trump Blames Martha for Ratings Slip

Trump Blames Martha for Ratings Slip
Virginia Sherwood/NBC Universal Photo

10/20/2005 AT 08:55 AM EDT

Does Martha Stewart have what it takes to work with Donald Trump?

That's a question the real estate mogul seems to be asking in the wake of sagging ratings for Stewart's Apprentice, a spinoff of Trump's show.

In an interview with ABC Radio, Trump said that he thinks Stewart's show is pulling viewers from his own Apprentice.

"I think there was confusion between Martha's Apprentice and mine. Mine continues to do well, and as you know, the other one has struggled severely," Trump said.

Martha Stewart's Apprentice premiered a month ago to lower-than-expected ratings, and has continued to struggle. NBC recently moved the show from its original 8 p.m. timeslot to 9 p.m., where viewership improved slightly but not enough.

Trump's Apprentice, now in its fourth season, continues to be successful, but has posted its smallest audience to date.

"I think (Stewart's show) probably hurt mine and I sort of predicted that it would, because there was a lot of confusion in the world," Trump told ABC.

As to whether Stewart's Apprentice would continue, Trump said that decision belonged to producer Mark Burnett and NBC, as well as himself. But, he added, "It certainly has struggled mightily."

Trump's show, however, is scheduled to go on. Shooting for the fifth season has reportedly begun, and The Donald was characteristically modest about its appeal: "I think it's a very good show," he said.

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