Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The BET network's own urban version of Donald Trump's The Apprentice, this cable-TV reality series was hosted by hip-hop recording executive, film producer, and sometime actor Damon Dash, whose first TV series project this was. Choosing from among 16 contestants within a 13-week "elimination" process, Dash selected the winner to run one of his many business enterprises (actually only a portion of one of those enterprises, but still a lucrative proposition for a young and hungry entrepreneur). Tasks set forward by "The Dash" included all-night recording sessions, aggressive street sales, flesh-pressing at high-profile parties, and the willingness to "take it" in the boxing ring and on the basketball court. The competition amongst the players was so fierce at times that it made the antics of Trump's program look as placid as a Sunday ice-cream social. And, of course, there was a "You're fired!" signature line, which in this case was Dash's stern admonition, "You are being watched." (He wasn't kidding -- the dude had cameras everywhere!) BET's Ultimate Hustler debuted October 4, 2005.