The 10th season of "The Apprentice" is still under way, though ratings for this installment, in which Donald Trump lords over a bunch of unknowns affected by the economic downturn, are not that great.
NBC, apparently stung by the low numbers, has decided to return to a celebrity-centric format for the show's next season, and the names of three cast members have already leaked. Entertainment Weekly, citing a source close to the production, reports that La Toya Jackson, Mark McGrath and Star Jones will be joining the new cast.
An NBC rep declined to comment on the report.
NBC first instituted the celebrity version of "Apprentice" in 2008, after a steady drop-off in viewership over six seasons. Piers Morgan won the inaugural "Celebrity Apprentice," and during that season ratings rose to levels similar to those garnered during season four. Those numbers paled in comparison to the more than 20 million folks who regularly tuned in during the show's first season, but they were enough to jumpstart two more "Celebrity Apprentice" seasons, which were won by Joan Rivers and Bret Michaels.
This season's premiere episode was the lowest rated in the history of the show. Trump and NBC are clearly hoping that a roster of celebs can turn things around for season 11, though it's unclear if Jackson, McGrath and Jones have the star power to pull off such a feat.
Jackson is no stranger to reality TV. She appeared in CBS's short-lived "Armed & Famous," on which she trained to become a police officer in a small Indiana town, and she popped up on the UK's "Celebrity Big Brother" in 2009. McGrath, the former frontman for Sugar Ray and former co-host of "Extra," is currently the host of "Don't Forget the Lyrics." Jones, meanwhile, has been largely out of the spotlight since leaving "The View" in 2006.
"Celebrity Apprentice" is expected to hit the airwaves in the first quarter of 2011.