Even if NBC axes the reality competition, he'll find a new home for it.
The Donald Trump-based program has suffered through low ratings this year, but that won't stop Burnett from shopping it to other networks if need be.
"If you think I'm going to let The Apprentice end, even if it's not on NBC, that's not going to happen. Trump is too big of a name," Burnett said. "If you look honestly at the numbers, even on a Sunday, with all sorts of [pro gramming] disadvantages . . . we're still beating The Black Donnellys, Studio 60 and Friday Night Lights.
That may not be saying too much, of course. After all, those shows aren't exactly chart toppers. Nevertheless, it's hard to argue with someone as successful in this genre as Burnett - whose next reality idea is Pirate Master, airing this summer on CBS.
"I have no idea what NBC is going to do [with The Apprentice] and I haven't heard a peep about it. They're still within their option time," he said. "But I speak to Donald Trump all the time and we're surprised we're doing as well as we're doing.
In the end, network TV is about selling advertising - and I can guarantee you, if you ask anyone at NBC ad sales, it's a fact that they can sell The Apprentice to higher demos."