The Buzz

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The mudslinging, the backbiting, the war of words. It's like "The Apprentice" boardroom scenes have been playing out in the press with The Donald and Martha in opposite corners and Mark Burnett on the other side of the table.

Trump, the host of the original NBC Thursday night version, was the first to lob a grenade . The Donald's "The Apprentice" has slipped out of the list of top 10 shows among 18-to-49-year-olds this season. In interviews with both Business Week and ABC Radio, Mr. Trump said that the Martha spin-off had hurt his show. "Mine continues to do well, and as you know, the other one has struggled severely."

Stewart recently showed up on the cover of Fortune under the headline, "I cannot be destroyed." She told the magazine that she didn't even know her show would be a spin-off. "I thought I was replacing The Donald. It was even discussed that I would be firing The Donald on the first show."

The whole episode leaves The Buzz wondering who's running the boardroom these days. Could it be that the creator of the two shows, Burnett, has managed to outmaneuver Martha and The Donald and perhaps even NBC? Despite the ratings declines of the original and Martha's modest debut, advertisers do not appear deterred. Call us cynical, but it has also crossed our minds that The Donald vs. Martha face-off could also be a PR ruse to build some viewer interest. Naaahh.

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