NBC is clinging to its Celebrity Apprentice franchise for dear life. As Trump geared up for his run for President (I can’t believe I just wrote that), NBC cut ties with him and his entire business (two of his children worked as advisors, as did other Trump staffers). But instead of scrapping the series altogether, they’ve decided to start fresh with a new boss: Arnold Schwarzenegger. They’ve also announced new advisors Warren Buffet, Tyra Banks, Steve Ballmer (ex-CEO of Microsoft) and Jessica Alba. (Arnold’s nephew Patrick will also be an advisor.)
For Tyra, this is no leap – reality TV has been her bread and butter for a really, really long time. Warren Buffet has always dabbled in celebrity schmoozing (like the cameo in the Entourage movie). I don’t know anything about Steve or Patrick, and I can only assume that TV is a siren song that can draw in any sort of person.
To me, Jessica is the most interesting choice advisor for many reasons—namely because The Honest Company has placed a very high premium on its branding (genuine, parent-driven, stylish, wholesome, healthy, natural). These are not core values I associate with network reality TV.
To me, Celebrity Apprentice is a bit tainted by its past affiliation and the name. “Celebrity” screams cheeseball. And the contestants Jessica will be advising include the usual handful of reality TV stars (two Real Housewives and Snooki), TV personalities (like Brooke Burke-Charvet), athletes, musicians (Boy George, Carnie Wilson) and comedians.
So, Jessica Alba might be giving business advice to Snooki. Snooki and Jessica Alba are on the same TV show. Jessica Alba and Snooki are essentially colleagues. Does that feel on-brand for you?
Of course, from a business perspective, this is Jessica’s chance win to over women who kind of remember her as the actress who makes cute diapers now. And with a new-ish makeup line (coincidentally, Tyra has launched a new makeup line as well) plus a constantly growing product list, The Honest Company execs must be looking for a way to ramp up marketing efforts. Celebrity Apprentice’s first few episodes will be huge (people will want to see how the show has transformed) and having Jessica introduced as “CEO of billion-dollar The Honest Company” is going to pique interest in people who might not need diapers, but like her lip colour.
I will definitely watch the first episode because I’m curious to see how Jessica’s personality translates to TV. She’s not known for being, um, kind. She has said many times that she is a very tough boss. She loves being the boss, so how will she handle being one of many advisors and not getting final say? And how quick will she be to make a Real Housewife cry? Basically I’m curious about fighting and drama, the exact same formula of every other reality TV show. Remember when Jessica said good actors don’t need scripts? She got her wish!
Here's Jessica Alba at the Who What Wear And Target Launch Party the other day in New York.