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The second season of NBC's smash hit, "The Apprentice," will this time feature 18 candidates from all walks of life, including both Ivy League MBA graduates and street entrepreneurs with no college education.

In the first episode, star and executive producer Donald Trump will split the candidates into two teams of nine. Each week, they will endure rigorous business tasks while living together in a hip Manhattan loft apartment. Prominent Fortune 500 companies were enlisted to participate in many of the tasks. The tasks will test their intelligence, chutzpah and street-smarts. They will face the challenges of living in close quarters and must complete sometimes humorous, but always difficult, job assignments and will be forced to think outside the box in order to outshine each other to get to the top.

The competition and the boardroom drama will all be taken to the next level during the second season. The candidates will face far more intense tasks and the stakes will be much higher. Donald Trump and his trusted colleagues -- George Ross and Carolyn Kepcher -- will frame each episode, beginning with the task delivery and ending with the climactic boardroom showdown. And, each week, one person will hear those dreaded words -- "You're Fired!"

As the winner of the competition, the second "apprentice" will be granted the dream job of a lifetime with The Trump Organization and a hefty six-figure salary.

During its first season (January 8-April 15, 2004), "The Apprentice" was the #1 new show of the television season among total viewers and among adults 18-49. An average of 20.7 million people watched each week and 40.1 million watched all or some of the finale. "The Apprentice" is the top-rated new series on any network in five years in adults 18-49. It is also NBC's #1 series of the season and NBC's #1 new series in five years. "The Apprentice" is tied with NBC's "The West Wing" as primetime's most upscale program.

"The Apprentice" is produced by Mark Burnett Productions in association with Trump Productions LLC. Mark Burnett, Donald Trump and Jay Bienstock are executive producers. Conrad Riggs and Kevin Harris are co-executive producers.