Synopsis by Hal Erickson
It was clear at the outset of the 2005-2006 season that the TV career of domestic diva Martha Stewart had not been injured in the least by her recent five-month prison stay. No fewer than two series starring Stewart debuted that year: one of them was the daily, syndicated talkfest Martha; the other was the weekly, hour-long NBC reality show The Apprentice: Martha Stewart. In the tradition of the original Apprentice, which of course was presided over by zillionaire Donald Trump, the new series found Martha Stewart selecting a protégé to run one of her many business enterprises amongst 16 contestants (ten female, six male). These worthies were first divided into teams and given job tasks of increasing importance to test their abilities, helped along in these endeavors by input from a variety of high-profile corporate sponsors. And as in the Trump version of The Apprentice, one of the contestants was eliminated at the end of each episode, with Martha doing the firing honors (at the time the series aired, Stewart claimed she'd never dismissed anyone face to face, leaving that unpleasant task to her subordinates). The series' highly appropriate theme song was Annie Lennox' "Sweet Dreams Are Made of These." Executive produced by Survivor's Mark Burnett, The Apprentice: Martha Stewart debuted September 21, 2005.