Donald please…

Nice job on Leno last night Donald. At least you admitted that you hadn’t seen The Benefactor. But saying that it will fail. That’s a little much Donald, even from you.

Let’s get a couple things straight here. First, The Benefactor is a good show. It’s fun, it’s entertaining, it’s engaging and makes you think. How it will do in the ratings, is anyones guess. I don’t have the luxury of premiering after Friends. The good news is, if people watch it, they will like it. The better news is that ABC liked it so much that they have decided to not only run it in its Monday time slot, but also on Thursday as well. Opposite The Apprentice. How ironic will it be that people watching your show, and flipping through the channels in breaks, can and will sample The Benefactor and get excited about the show. Isn’t the TV business fun!

Speaking of business, I don’t think its dawned on you just how hard Mark Burnett threw you under the bus. Burnett is brilliant no doubt about it. You were right when you said he is one of the best in the business. He is.

Here’s the rub Donald, and I don’t think you have picked up on this, but your advertisers and placement partners surely will. You think The Apprentice, which really is a good show, is a positive reflection of your business acumen. That the show, as you put it, is a job interview to come work for you. So Donald, when the promos for this years show come on and one contestant says that “the women would eat their young”, or that the “men are all chauvinists”, is that a reflection of the people you interview for jobs in your companies?

How do you think Mattel and their employees feel knowing that’s how the contestants coming into their offices, the world of Ken and Barbie, are being described? I’m guessing Mattel employees are cringing at the possibility that the audience thinks that The Apprentice contestants are there because Mattel people weren’t smart enough to do the job themselves.

Burnett is brilliant at casting, he has proven it time again. He knows how to find people who will make for good TV. Including you Donald. I’m guessing, but I’m pretty sure he cares more about ratings than who can come up with toy ideas for Mattel, or manage an exhibition basketball game or handle any business task.

The Apprentice is a knockoff of Survivor. Pretty much all competitivereality shows, includingThe Benefactor,are knockoffs in some way or another of Survivor. As Survivor and all good reality shows have proven, success is about casting and storylines. Burnett is great at both.

I think our production team and the people at ABC are great at both as well. The Benefactor has great characters. It has great drama and intensity. It has great storylines. It also has a twist that I think is significant.

In every other reality show, everyone does the same thing. Everyone knows exactly what they are trying todo, and there is a set of rules and a winner is picked. That’s ok, but we did one better. On The Benefactor, all the challenges are open ended and there are no rules.

For each challenge in the game, the minute you hear it, your mind starts racing, like the contestants, trying to figure out what you would do if you were them. It’s one thing to open up intellectually and sell lemonade, it’s far more difficult to doand far more interesting to watch someone open intellectually andemotionally.

What would you do if, with 1millon dollars at stake, you were asked to showone thing that you thought was special about yourself, with the only criteria being that you push out of your comfort zone and do something you have never done before? I won’t give anything away, butI can tell you that what happened, as with all the tests onThe Benefactorwas great TV.

That’s what it comes down to. Great TV. I can go back and forth with Trump and anyone else about who copied who, who was here first, etc. Bottom line is that we all copied Survivor in one way or another. That it all comes down to whether or not the show hasgreat characters, great storylines and people want to watch. The Benefactor does

When it’s all said and done Donald,our producers, casts and timeslots have far more to do with the success of our shows than you and I. We each contribute in our own ways, but we are alongfor the ride. The Apprentice’s success depended far more on Sam being a goof and Omarosa being adrama queenthan anything you did. That’s why you kept on bringing them back. The Benefactor’s success will depend on how the audience responds to a 2nd grade teacher with satanic like tatoos, a black gay bartender who carries around a picture of Oprah and asks it what Oprah would do, a womens professional football player who wants to kick everyone’s ass, a super hot beauty queen, who is far from asinnocent as she tries to come across, and 12 others, who are incredibly competitive and realize that for a million dollars, the game is always on.

105 thoughts on “Donald please…

  1. I thought it was good. I liked how you did most of the things I just wish that Grayson (I think thats her name) had stayed on. You looked like a down to earth kind of guy. I don’t think that your show will be as big or have as good of ratings as Donald at first but it might pick up it might not. You will have at least one viewer!

    Comment by Tyler -

  2. This show takes a bit of getting used to. Like you said, this show’s concept is nothing like people have seen. Unpredictability rules, and the contestants can’t try to outwit each other the “normal” way.

    I like the lessons you presented – 1st impression, meeting expectations, and testing of nerves. I particularly like the way you throw in your own past business experience/blunders. I found them very enlightening.

    Of course, the contestants would have no benefit of knowing all this and how you set up the show like we do as 20/20 viewers and as blog readers, so i can imagine the confusions they must have gone through. I also think it must also be a little confusing for tv viewers who just tune in to watch the show for the first time…what is the premise? what is the show about? what is the goal? what kind of people can they relate to? where is the show going with this? So, for a lot of people, i’m sure the show must feel like it has no focus.

    But, that is the premise of the show. The premise is that Opportunity is around the corner but there’s a thing called Unpredicatability in life and one just has to take a chance/risk. Like the girl who ran buck naked for the audition tape but played it safe on the show could be the very thing that takes one out of the game. Like you have eluded to in your blogs…a million dollars (or whatever opportunity in life) is waiting right around the corner and someone who passes a series of tests will get it. But to pass the test, someone has to take a series of risks that might appear to be trivial, random, crazy, unconventional, sometimes whimsical. However, these tests are not random, they are based on your own successes and failures of your own past experiences. And that is brilliant.

    Looking forward to next week’s show.

    Comment by Ron W -

  3. After reading negative comment after negative comment, I have to come to the realization that people are missing the point. Mark alluded, in his intro. to the show, to the experience of the job interview, where every little thing, words, stories, appearance, body language, attitude, etc., is being perceived by a subjective individual(s) who will ultimately decide the fate of the candidate. And if we obtain a job or are rejected from a potential opportunity, we never hear the actual reasoning behind that decision. That’s what the benefactor is ultimately about. Based on Mark’s business lessons (And in response to those that say he won’t be successful, you need to take a step back and reassess), he is taking 16 candidates and observing their every move.

    It’s a social and psychological experiment. How are people going to react to certain situations, how will they cope with stress, adversity, will they persevere, rise up, how will they confront situations that they do not perceive as being important? This includes even the most mundane things: Jenga. Did people see how much their hands were shaking last night? Obviously there was a great deal on the line and they were doing everything in their power to handle that pressure. We’ve all been in interviews where we’ve been asked questions that seem irrelevant and have no bearing with the job at hand. In those situations, you still have to answer the questions, you still have to demonstrate your character.

    I do appreciate the fact that the game is in fact always on. The smallest thing can affect the outcome. The groundwork has been set, it’ll be interesting to witness how people now handle that pressure. It’s easy to fake it for a few hours in an interview, it’s impossible over the course of several days, never mind 16. It’s Mark’s rules, he’s the interviewer and what will ultimately determine the winner is who demonstrates the desire to be successful, is willing to work and sacrfice to be successful, who will cope with difficulty circumstances, and who will be able to demonstrate that they will abide by moral and ethical business practices. That’s what the show is about. It’s entertainment and an insight into the character’s of sixteen different individual’s.

    Comment by Ken L -

  4. After reading negative comment after negative comment, I have to come to the realization that people are missing the point. Mark alluded, in his intro. to the show, to the experience of the job interview, where every little thing, words, stories, appearance, body language, attitude, etc., is being perceived by a subjective individual(s) who will ultimately decide the fate of the candidate. And if we obtain a job or are rejected from a potential opportunity, we never hear the actual reasoning behind that decision. That’s what the benefactor is ultimately about. Based on Mark’s business lessons (And in response to those that say he won’t be successful, you need to take a step back and reassess), he is taking 16 candidates and observing their every move.

    It’s a social and psychological experiment. How are people going to react to certain situations, how will they cope with stress, adversity, will they persevere, rise up, how will they confront situations that they do not perceive as being important? This includes even the most mundane things: Jenga. Did people see how much their hands were shaking last night? Obviously there was a great deal on the line and they were doing everything in their power to handle that pressure. We’ve all been in interviews where we’ve been asked questions that seem irrelevant and have no bearing with the job at hand. In those situations, you still have to answer the questions, you still have to demonstrate your character.

    I do appreciate the fact that the game is in fact always on. The smallest thing can affect the outcome. The groundwork has been set, it’ll be interesting to witness how people now handle that pressure. It’s easy to fake it for a few hours in an interview, it’s impossible over the course of several days, never mind 16. It’s Mark’s rules, he’s the interviewer and what will ultimately determine the winner is who demonstrates the desire to be successful, is willing to work and sacrfice to be successful, who will cope with difficulty circumstances, and who will be able to demonstrate that they will abide by moral and ethical business practices. That’s what the show is about. It’s entertainment and an insight into the character’s of sixteen different individual’s.

    Comment by Ken L -

  5. I’ve been reading your blog for a long time now, Mark. I think your a standup guy… but let me tell you about some people that were in town last night, and what they thought of your show.

    Keep in mind, these people dont watch reality TV at all. They didn’t like the way you came off. At first, they jokingly called you ‘creepy’, as you sat alone in a room watching everyone.

    Later in the show, they complained about too much filler, and wished out loud if they could kick you off the show.

    Here’s the thing — I defended you pretty strongly. But I only saw about 10 minutes of the show because I was studying for my CFA test. Regardless…

    PS, I dont watch The Apprentice because of Trump. I mean, he amuses me sometimes, but that isn’t why I watch the show.

    Comment by JL -

  6. I’ve read most of these comments and everyone is entitled to their opinions but I loved the show. I loved the cast too…okay most of them anyway but it wouldn’t be great TV without a jack a*s or two right??? I loved the Watermelon Chick/ the football player and the gay bartender! Wow, I do not envy Mark for having to make this decision! I can’t wait to see more…I don’t have Tivo so Fear Factor is now a thing of the past! Sorry NBC!

    Comment by Kris -

  7. Hi Mark,

    After reading all your thoughtful writings, I finally got to see you in person… in your show last night. And speaking of “first impression”, you screwed it!

    The talks about first impression and setting expectations etc. are all true, but the way you presented them makes YOU look like… like I want to stay away from you (let’s just put it this way). Maybe this is how you want to play this “game”, or maybe this is who you are in real life.

    You are a smart guy. I know you want something out of this show other than just “fun”. But the way you presented yourself won’t get you very far…

    Comment by Raymond -

  8. You are missing out on a couple million viewers in the mountain time zone. We saw Access Hollywood until 7:00 and then local news after Monday night football at 10:00.

    I was looking forward to seeing the show..

    Comment by ken -

  9. Hope you read these blog comments – well, hope you read the negative ones, because the positive ones seem to have been posted with the idea that if you like them maybe you’ll help out the authors with a little cash too.

    Your show, it just sucks. Maybe you can have even more scintillating eliminations based on flipping a coin or picking a number between 1 and 10. This is a network show with a network budget and you couldn’t do anything more interesting than could be done at an old lady tea party (small talk, chats, ‘bored’ games)? Oh wait, you couldn’t even do that – there wasn’t any tea! That’s it, next week offer all the contestants a choice of tea from a box like at a restaurant, maybe make 13 different kinds available, perhaps even herbal or decaf (dare we dream???), and then eliminate the people whose selections you liked the least (I’m betting on oolong!). How thrilling.

    Wow. Wow. Really awful. It’s not interesting or possible for the audience to get into figuring out who is the best ‘player’ when there are no rules to the game – just your whims – and no action. How fun would it be, to speak to something in your field, to watch a bunch of people hang about on a basketball court, maybe kick the ball listlessly, ocasionally just sit on it, talk about the weather, maybe try to climb the net, trace the lines on the floor? You have to have rules, expectations, goals, and competition.

    Personally, I think you should pick the winner based upon who would be able to, with a million dollars, make a watchable television program – I expected more from you, a veritable kid in a candy store with no constraints but his imagination – apparently, that is one major constraint. Figure out which of your ‘contestants’ is the most imaginative and then give him/her money and the production deal for the Benefactor 2.

    Comment by Brian -

  10. Ive been reading the comments and everyone is bagging on the concept of Jenga as a tool to gauge the ability of the contestants. And yes its JENGA not JUNGA!! It tests concentration, nerves, and your ability to relax under pressure. It was obvious that William had a strategy in mind to not only get the pressure off of himself, but to focus everyone on Grayson. I have to admit that he is annoying as hell, but he was able to suck it up and remain calm to win the game (which the show is anyways!!!) Screw Trump. Baby arm

    Comment by Pramit Rana -

  11. I can’t believe how many of you are having issues with the show’s so-called “rules”.

    First of all, it’s Mark’s million. Why can’t he make up rules if he wants?

    Secondly, why do you need “rules” anyway? It is life — you have laws, but you don’t always have rules governing what you should or shouldn’t do.

    Are you the same people who get to work at 8am and leave at 5pm everyday? Are you the same people who cannot stand ambiguity?

    The guy who was kicked out right away last night was the same person who wouldn’t get out of his seat to greet people.

    Let’s pretend you had $1 to give to someone in that room. Would he be top on your list?

    And the Jenga situation…both of those people could have been eliminated, but Mark gave them an opportunity to stay alive. An intense game of Jenga ensued, and if you were watching the show, I know you wanted one of the two people to win. I doubt you were indifferent to the outcome.

    Comment by shane schaetz -

  12. Ok, so my math skills were a little off🙂

    Comment by Bruce -

  13. Hey genius, 1 million to every person in the US would be 300M x 1M = 300 TRILLION … unless Cuban happens to have over 40 times the national debt lying around…something tells me this is a no-go😉

    Mark: Watched the show (admittedly on accident, I just surfed to it, although I had heard of it before). It’s an interesting concept, and I like the “tests” such as first impressions and living up to expectations. I would think those are far better gauges of potential in business (and in life for that matter) than selling lemonade. However, I was a little disappointed to see a decision fall to something as trivial as a flip of a coin (or in this case, a game of Jenga). I was hoping this would not be yet another ‘reality’ TV show with silly games, stunts or voting to determine the outcome. Though it’s probably a little early to tell yet, so I guess I’ll have to see the next episode😉

    Oh, by the way, I think what you’ve done with the Mavs is great…the turnaround is amazing! If you’re a soccer fan, perhaps you’d like to take on our bottom-dwelling Dallas Burn (soon to be FC Dallas) as your next project😛

    Comment by Russell -

  14. I liked the show.

    But, did every single person say, “I’m pretty and I have brains” or, “I know I’m good looking but I have brains, too” or something similar during their intro.

    Ugh.

    My early money is on Chris to win.

    Comment by Scott Patterson -

  15. I just don’t get it. All that money, and the best you can do is show us how random things are, that any moment could be your last, and that we all could be playing Junga with our lives. As if your million to one person can make that much difference. I’m so enriched from the experience. Not.

    Comment by Bruce -

  16. One million dollars? To one person? C’mon, Mark. If you want to be a benefactor, give a million to EACH person in the USA. How much money do you have? 5 billion? 300 million won’t even be a dent.

    Comment by Bruce Levy -

  17. Last nights premier was great! As a fan of interesting self made successful individuals, both the Benefactor and the Apprentice show completly different views of the hosts personalities. And what may be important to them.
    Trump: obvious Teamwork, seamingly trivial tasks, however the success of the task and the ability of the leader to create a “team” week to week is the measure. The “drama” involved with the castmembers is just that, and that’s always been the benchmark for entertainment.
    The Benefactor: Suprise !! Real Life !! 1st impressions, how true. Initial interview questions, How many times has just being yourself paid off?? Many more than pretending something that you aren’t.
    Last nights show was a terriffic start to what would seem to be a real test of these folks ability to be themselves, how refreshing not actor wantabes.
    Kudos to Mr. Cuban and his staff.

    Comment by Chuck -

  18. It seems to me that the best way to rid yourself of the idiot known as “The Donald” is to act as if he doesn’t exist. If he really thinks your show will fail….then beat him with ratings. Let that do your talking. Your banter regarding him is bordering on obsession. I realize having worked with you in the past that you have a VERY competitive personality but this guy isn’t worth your time. He makes himself look bad and doesn’t need any help doing it. Dig?

    Comment by J. Abbott -

  19. Wow–I was expecting something good, especially from the intelligence and understanding Mark has shown in his blog posts about the show. But that was just not good.

    Could the editing be any worse? I mean, you only have 44 minutes to fill with days of footage and interviews and intros, and yet there’s still so much filler.

    Take the “shocking” first eviction. First, you announce to them that someone is being eliminated based on first impressions alone. (Imagine people being eliminated from a reality TV show!) Then the “it’s so shocking we need a commercial break to digest it” break. Then a clip of you repeating the same thing again for 30 seconds! Then the three completely pointless interview clips:
    “I was so shocked that someone was being eliminated so soon’
    “I couldn’t believe it”
    “I, too, was also shocked. It was really surprising.”

    Then we finally get something interesting–but it’s Cuban tormenting people for getting refreshments! In theory, it’s nice to have a show where the rules aren’t spelled out in advance, so that people can’t game the rules–but it falls apart if Cuban’s going to play the role of a crazed dictator and threaten them with eviction based on a whim.

    Then we finally get our eviction–and it’s for the crime of not being articulate (“it’ll be stupid, but not stupid stupid . . .”) which is fine, but not that interesting.

    You can mock the pretensions of The Apprentice a lot, but at least they actually do something on the show! There are real locations (the apartment, the boardroom, the work site, the city) and real tasks, and real interview clips that actually reveal the person’s character, and they never have trouble filling up more than their 44 minutes with substantive, interesting material.

    On last night’s episode, they came in and yakked, you then introduced yourself and yakked with them individually, and then we had the big event . . . Extreme Jenga! We hung out for a really boring night in your living room.

    So tell the folks at ABC to stop assuming the audience has an IQ of 80. Stop with the filler, the constant repetition of what we already know, the pointless interview clips that The Bachelor relies on so much (“I just couldn’t believe there would be 4 of us on the date instead of just 3 . . that really surprised me”) and the breathless hype.

    It takes something like this to make you appreciate just how good Burnett is at producing interesting reality TV.

    Comment by Karl -

  20. what a great show. A game of freakin Jenga for a million bucks!!! That’s incredible. I’m sold, I have a Tivo season pass and I won’t miss a minute. Great job.

    One Million dollars is not that much Tyler? I guess if you already have it it’s not that much. If you are a second grade teacher or a bartender it will make the difference in your future.

    Comment by chad -

  21. I really enjoyed the show. It was totally captivating. I laughed out loud when Mark announces that the two people that are on the verge of being eliminated is predicated on a game of JENGA!! What the hell!!! Love that twist. The only thing I wonder about is what are some things that happened that was not broadcasted. Like the interviews with the other contestants. Can’t wait for next weeks episode!!!

    Comment by Pramit Rana -

  22. I loved the business tests participants had to pass. They are true real world abilities and it makes the show educational.

    Found watching the dialogue by the participants boring at times.

    $1 million is not really much and the way it is being built up in the show seems a little goofy.

    Comment by tyler -

  23. I really enjoyed the show. I did not dig the Apprentice at all. I thing the shows contrast each other as the old and new way of doing business.

    Comment by jason -

  24. Saw the Benefactor last night…..SWEET!!! You did an excellent job putting the show together. The biggest thing it has going for it, is that it is not predictable what so ever. The first person you let go, was not even my top three guesses. This show will totally beat apprentice. Great job!!!

    Comment by John -

  25. Mark, you better buy that woman a leg for her mama if she doesn’t win.

    Comment by Nick -

  26. I thought the Benefactor was alot better than I anticipated & I actually learned some things to apply to real life but I thought the decision to throw the first impression guy out was assinine and made Mark look like a spoiled brat because of how he “misinterpreted” the guys innocent remarks on “stupid” tasks on different reality shows. Mark’s decision to eliminate the guy from a public relations/perception point of view was a disaster, the same way the Denver Nuggetts looked for trying to sign Kobe Bryant when he was a free agent- knowing full well they wouldn’t and doing this anyway when the guy was awaiting rape charges in Denver. The first impressions concept was good except the idea of dropping this poor guy by misinterpreting his “stupid” comments wasn’t. I understand this shows how arbitrary things are in the real world where one doesn’t have control but it just made Mark look like a spoiled little baby.

    Comment by Hershon -

  27. If I show what one thing was special about myself? Well to me that happens to be my kids. Which is the main reason I wouldnt be good for reality TV. I dont have an “edge” to me.

    From what I gather from the previews, all these people except maybe a few are backstabbers – hence they lose. I just couldnt live with myself if I had to cheat to get a million.

    And I dont think that is how its going to turn out.

    At least it shouldnt.

    Comment by Dan -

  28. I watched the Apprentice Season 1. It was good because it was new and had interesting people. This season doesn’t have anything interesting yet. It’s a little much to take, honestly.

    I saw the Benefactor last night and was impressed with it. I think y’all got something there. Trump can say what he wants, but most people know he’s a bit of a bully in a nice suit.

    You are giving people a chance to make a difference in their own lives. Most of those individuals wouldn’t have made it to an Apprentice audition.

    Good luck with this show! I’ll be watching you and I’m seriously considering turning off the Donald this season.

    Comment by Deanna -

  29. Great show! If the American public is looking for some motivation to make things happen in there lives, the Benefactor is the show to watch. Mark is going to teach us a few things about how it’s done. Hopefully by season’s end, I will also be a billionaire. Mark’s status, not the “Donald’s”.

    Comment by Rodney McDonald -

  30. Loved the first episode of “The Benefactor”. It was entertaining as well as surprising. I didn’t think Mark Cuban would eliminate so many people right away. To me, the show is so much original and more viewer friendly than “The Apprentice”. Keep up the good work, Mr. Cuban.

    Comment by Jason Johnson -

  31. Do you worry that this blog will be overwhelmed and hard to post on after the success of your show?

    Did you read my email that I had sent you earlier?

    Cheers,
    AJ
    Toronto, Canada

    Comment by AJ Reynolds -

  32. I only caught bits and pieces Mark, but I thought getting booted over a game of Jenga was a bit corny. Not very imaginative.

    Unfortunately I didn’t see the rest of the show. I will continue to watch more episodes before I decide to stay watching. You do have better casting than Apprentice, but not that much better.

    Can’t wait for next week!

    Comment by Mark -

  33. Ok MARK! You got some “splainin’ ” to do!

    What were you thinking picking the guy from atlanta that was the former marine/florist!!!!! I saw him at the Atlanta audition. He was rude and unfriendly and had a ZERO personality! He was a snob!

    I was much better!

    Jeff Saunders
    The “still available” Gay Redneck from Georgia

    Comment by jeffrey saunders -

  34. I got to say, it had some good points and some bad points. I thought the open was a tad bit cheesy. Then again, I dont really watch reality shows so this might be the norm.

    Shawn the redhead is going to drive me nuts. The previews for the season really peaked my interest. To have your chance at a million taken away by losing at Jenga? Man thats intense.

    And who in their right mind says “I dont need to win a million dollars.” I would have let him go right then and there.

    I got it on the season pass so Ill definately watch.

    Comment by Dan -

  35. Mark, I thought the show was terrific. I liked the twists and turns. Kept my attention. And yeah, that guy sure IS annoying. But you were spot on with your analysis of his performance, even though he was…ANNOYING. Did I say he was….oh, okay.

    I love your tech talk. Agree 100% on the HD versus DVD discussion. Now, just keep coming up with stuff for me to watch on my Samsung HD DLP and I’ll be *really* happy.

    Comment by Wingnut -

  36. I came home from work and tuned into ABC for Monday night football. It was on in the background until I heard “season premier of The Benefactor” and gave my half-hearted attention. I found it comical that someone was getting kicked off 5 minutes after arriving, so I got off the phone and watched the show. From that point on, the intensity just grew, and after about 15 minutes the $1 million prize became dwarved by each person’s desire to avoid facing up to the inevitable truth – their own fatal character flaws. The contestants in this show have their fate in their own hands, and the clarity of this truth is shocking. You can’t fake your way through life. This show is simply a wake-up call, delivering a raw blow to the head. Well done.

    Comment by Dave Schultz -

  37. Is Mark Cuban an “accidental Billionaire”? I’m starting to think so. One of his previous blogs was about how he expects everyone else to invent things (See: “HDTV, DVD, Hard Drives and the future”). Now the owner of his own HDTV network can’t broadcast his own show in HD. It won’t mean anything to the vast majority of you who don’t have HDTV sets, but think about the message he’s sending.

    No HD from anyone else isn’t surprising. From Mark Cuban it means he’s not really serious about HDTV. It means his first impression didn’t live up to expectations. It means there’s no reason to watch.

    Comment by John -

  38. Fantastic and totally captivating show Mark!

    I love all the unpredictability and minute by minute suspense of The Benefactor. A reality show with open ended challenges and no rules – brilliant!!

    I watched The Apprentice last season, but your show is so much more entertaining, fun and provides a genuine learning experience for young people as you share your personal business wisdom and insight with the audience.

    Outstanding job!

    Comment by KRL -

  39. I watched the show and besides the many audio problems we experienced I thought you looked like a real jerk. All that said, I still love the Mavericks.

    Comment by Ally -

  40. I loved this show so much… no rules ‘n lot of surprises, can’t miss it for a minute.. love it!😉

    Comment by oioi -

  41. I was very surprised to find that tonights show isn’t in HD? What is going on???

    Comment by Jeff R. -

  42. I loved this show so much… no rules ‘n lot of surprises, very creative ‘n fun.. love it!

    Comment by oioi -

  43. I’m currently watching “The Benefactor”, and I have to say I enjoy it much more than “The Apprentice”. The people seem real and interesting, which I can’t say the same about that other show. Mark looks like he is having a blast, and Trumpy looks like he is reading cue cards.
    I’ve never really followed Mark Cuban (I just know him from some late night interviews and some news about him getting fines from the NBA), but I’m thoroughly enjoying him more then “The Donald”, so far. Keep up the good show. Maybe I’ll send a tape in for the season.

    Comment by John S. -

  44. It’s true Trump is less than an ideal person. He’s arrogant, obsessed with money and the finer things in life. The truth is the descriptions of Apprentice contestants do exemplify Trump, the people he hires and what it takes to be in the “real” business world. Trump may be in denial but this is who he shows to the world. Side note. If you want to show yourself different then Trump, take your profits from your show and give them to charity or education. Otherwise you’re just like him and in it for the money.

    Comment by Beth Smith -

  45. The problem with these shows is that they only feature people who look good on TV and would probably have a successful life without reality shows or a million bucks. The people who truly need the money wouldn’t stand a chance to make it past the audition. These shows are all filled with All-American people who sleepwalk their way through life via their looks. Even the reality of reality TV is slanted to shallow photogenics. Zzz. Wake me up when the reality show trend is all over.

    Comment by Erik Fest -

  46. Great appearance on the Stern show this morning Mark. I’m glad he wasn’t talking politics for a while, and your honesty and attitude came across great. Looking forward to watching tonight!

    -Joe

    Comment by Joe S. -

  47. i’m looking forward to the benefactor. but i can’t effing wait for the rebel billionaire (richard branson’s show).

    cheers.

    Comment by kmh -

  48. The ratings for the truthful hyperbole’s season premier Apprentice this past Thursday was lower than last year’s Apprentice season premier . It had no direct competition either as CSI, in the same time slot aired a rerun .
    Either the viewers are a bit put off by an obvious narcissistic ( but charismatic )quote-billionaire-unquote , or the viewers are not ready to change their habits of watching the new fall lineup until mid to late September , only time will tell .
    The general concensus points to the fact that the excitement of finally getting to view The Benefactor will be proven in the ratings .
    So as far as the Donald is concerned , I would take his comments with a grain of salt . Either he is an idiot or he is brilliant in the fact that trying to stir the pot by indicating a possible ‘there is trouble in paradise’ scenario between himself and Mark will only entice all the more viewers to watch both shows … Imagine that .

    Comment by Victoria -

  49. Personally. I Can’t stand reality TV.. its just more “Jerry Springer” material… want a really good profit? with long-term revenue? Bring back a show with good story line and family content.. for example M*A*S*H… oh how we long for the greats again.

    Comment by Mike Verinder -

  50. All I can about reality tv is that the contestants have to be losers if they can’t create their own success…they are like educated street bums asking for hand-outs.

    Comment by scott -

  51. Good luck with your show, Mark…Like Edison quoted, “Anything that won’t sell, I don’t want to invent.”…I know you, you did your homework and this will be a hit..Maybe a competition for $$$Billionaires in the future?..Yikes,… Cuban, Gates, Ellison, Trump, and say Dell???..Pay per View would eat that one up.. Small royalty for me if it goes, Har!..I still want you to check out my innovative idea some day…Good luck!..

    Comment by ShadNet -

  52. In terms of being a businessman, Donald Trump is a fraud. It’s well known in the financial community that he has never earned a single cent for his shareholders. His casinos are in debt up to their ears because of horrible business decisions he has made. (In fact, control of his casino corp. has recently been taken away from him… see article below.)

    Even in the real estate industry he’s not considered much of a player anymore. Most of the new “Trump” buildings in America and Asia are owned by developers who just pay him to use his name. In the end, that’s really the only value he brings to any deal now.

    He was a spoiled rich kid who’s daddy gave him his start. He was in the right place at the right time (NYC in the 80’s) with enough of his father’s money – and a little luck – to make some big real estate deals that ended up ‘making’ him. He his also a master self-promoter and B.S.-artist who’s very good at grabbing the spotlight, or at least forcing the guy with the spotlight to point it at him.

    But the worst thing about Trump is that he’s really a very bad person. He lies through his teeth… about everything he can and to anyone who will listen. The vast majority of people who know him dislike him. He prides himself in screwing over other people and getting away with it. I know several people who have worked for him and they all detest him and the way he treats people.

    Trump really is the worst kind of businessperson: greedy, mean, and dishonest.

    Be sure to read this great article from CBS:

    Should Donald Trump Be Fired?
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/03/31/national/main609576.shtml

    Comment by JC -

  53. > Turn off the TV everyone and enjoy some
    > reality with your Kids, Family and Friends,
    > because you will never see reruns from them.

    I tried that, but I got voted out…

    Comment by Chris Nystrom -

  54. Hey Mark. I was just posting to let you know that Trump was attempting to take some shots at the Benefactor yesterday morning with an interview with Katie K. from the Today show. I am with you on the fact that he has not even seen the show. He stated, “Cuban doesn’t have a tv persona, I don’t think, I hear very bad things about the show, it’s not going to make it”. I am really looking foward to monday’s Benefactor because change is good. I never have to worry if EMT’s will have to show up on the set because you look healthy to me contrary to an elderly and fragile Donald Trump.

    Comment by Michael C. -

  55. was wondering what your reaction to Trump’s commentary would be. He really pulled his most aggressive available maneuver in competition with your show by saying “other people said…” I admire both of you, you more because your values seem to run very deep. I hope your show does incredibly well. Please do not allow it to appear that he is getting under your skin.

    Comment by James Vaughn -

  56. Mark, you come off as more than a little jealous of Donalds success with the Apprentice. If Donald goes on Leno and makes comments (good or bad) about the benefactor that’s good for your show as I’m sure many people that watch Leno will have never heard of your upcoming show. Take the high road until your show is a proven success like The Apprentice. I do enjoy your blog.

    Comment by Brett Nordquist -

  57. Picture this…

    You and Donald compete to see which show the networks will keep!!! Now that’s good TV!

    Events:

    Pillow fights (Pillows stuffed with cash).
    Best Hair Competition
    Who has the quirkiest billionaire habit
    Who has the most (and best) toys
    Who can pick up the hottest gold digger
    Who can get the most butt kissers in a day

    They way I see it you’re a sure win for the first 4 events!

    Comment by Steve Ciske -

  58. If I may offer a little criticism of The Benefactor’s concept, here goes. There isn’t a whole lot at stake in your show on a concept level. A million dollars? People win that nightly on game shows. At least on “The Apprentice”, people win a chance at a career, a livelihood. What can you do with a million dollars? Buy a nice house and two nice cars. Not much else. A small business? But, ahh, you even said so yourself, Mark, sweat equity is much more important than cash. Also, there’s toio much mystery involved in what exactly the people have to do to suceed. Look at Survivor, high concept and very very clear goals. The Apprentice, make better deals than your rivals. That’s simple, that’s clear. The Benefactor seems like a reality variation on that Michael Douglas movie, The Game. Perhaps your show will still be a success; it’s true, casting is life or death in reality TV, but on a concept level, there isn’t a whole lot advertised in The Benefactor to get this viewer excited about watching it. Again, only my opinion.

    Comment by Gary -

  59. I heard Trump on Best Damn Sports Show and he was talking again about how the Apprentice was going to beat Benefactor. They are not even close to the same show. Trump is all about making himself look good, except for the hair obviously. Mark is giving away a million bucks. How are the close to being the same?

    Comment by James -

  60. Now Richard is also joining in. By next season, there will be too many of these and they will die down.

    Comment by Oasis Wellness Network -

  61. I can’t wait to see “The Benefactor” and I’ve never watched a complete episode of “The Apprentice” or even “Survivor” for that matter.

    You are a helluva guy for all that you do for charities & those in need. Kudos to you – we in Dallas, TX are lucky to have you as one of our own!!

    GO MAVERICKS!!

    Comment by Gypsy Mommy -

  62. Absolutely correct. The contestants make the show. After a few weeks, you watch “The Apprentice” to see what Omerosa is going to do and which character is going to encounter some misfortune. At that point, Donald is expendable. As a viewer, I’m glad you have such a firm grasp of the concept with regard to your own show.

    Comment by Rob -

  63. I am a huge fan of Cuban. Love his work habits, ethics, charisma and how he runs his daily business. Shoot, I even love the Mavs on NBA Live (although I am a Sonics fan for life).

    However, when it comes down to it, when comparing trailers to trailers, the first Apprentice excited me. It made me want to watch exactly what the contestants were going to do.

    Why? I love hearing the rags to riches story. I love seeing someone make it battling from nothing to something. Going from government funding to financial freedom. The struggle strikes a cord in me. While I am currently trying to sharpen my business acumen, I look for mentors that inspire me – drive me to continually move.

    I am currently starting another business and find it challenging mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Apart of me is drawn to the PREMISE of the Apprentice.

    After reading your article, I was deeply moved by the premise of what you said. Unfortunatley, I don’t think the same idea was conveyed in your commercials. It doesn’t have the same essence that you’re conveying through your words. All I see is “Win a Million Dollars” with Cuban doing crazy things. I want to see the essence of a person trying to make it from nothing to something. I want to see the opportunity and someone seizing it.

    Before reading your blog, I was ho-hum about your show. But now, because of your words, I am absolutely there Monday.

    I hope the Benefactor is a hit success.

    Comment by Savan -

  64. You would think someone with a few billion dollars could hire someone to fix that funky ass hairdo. Let it go babe, flopping it all across your head isn’t fooling anyone.
    Mark you should up the prize money to something crazy like 50 million dollars. That would be insane, guaranteed to keep your show on the air forever and of course draw out every wak nut on the planet to try and get on your show but hey you got to take the good with the bad right?😉

    Yo Dan thanks for the words of wisdom now get off your computer its no different than TV and go spend time ah hell you know the rest….

    peace

    Comment by Mike -

  65. Apprentice is not the grandchild of Survivor.

    There is no Papa Smurf with the final answer at the end of Survivor. Benefactor and Apprentice, however, do have a Papa Smurf with FINAL SAY.

    The beauty of Apprentice AND Benefactor will be that the final decision is made by a real, live person.

    That real live person is the definition of success to many.

    WE WATCH BECAUSE WE WANT TO SEE IF OUR DECISION on who to “fire” IS THE SAME AS THE one made by this CHAMPION (TRUMP/cUBAN).
    We want that “interaction”.

    This is unlike popular game shows like Jeopardy, which while they are interactive to the extent that we can play along and shout out answers in our living rooms, there is a RIGHT and WRONG answer. Not so with Benapprentice shows.

    My sister and I, call each other on the breaks of Apprentice, all hyped up and making up our own minds. ANd I know others who do the same. And we are surburban NYC white collar workers.

    Somewhat of a cultural phenomenon. Just look at the demographics of the audience.

    I digress…
    America loves interaction.

    If who you picked to get knocked out is the same as who Papa S. picked, then you just plain feel good.

    It is quite a different experience then watching a group vote on Survivor.

    Anyway, Survivor isn’t interactive. Well, NOW it is with the Rupert vote thing. I guess they caught on to American Idol’s brilliance at identifying how important interaction is.

    Having been in an interactive play in NYC, I understand the phenomena.

    Mark,you obviously do too or you wouldn’t keep the comments section of this blog.

    INTERACTION…..the audience ability to make their own judgements….that there is no black and white answers like on Jeopardy or Who Wants To BE a Millionaire. THIS IS THE KEY!

    Hello, am I the only one who sees this as being critical???

    By the way,I also respectfully disagree about storylines. I wouldn’t say that there are storylines at all. Anymore than there are storylines in a Jerry Springer episode.
    The casting/characters are the throughline.
    The conflicts/events are what make each episode interesting.

    CASTING is the KEY. I agree with you Mark 100% on that.

    Sorry I am not too eloquent but I think the truth of this is evident.

    I actually had a head to head battle on the Maury Povich show with a soap opera casting director in the early 90’s. She said fat people aren’t put on tv/films because audiences don’t want to see themselves, they want to escape. I stood up and told her that she didn’t get it…if people only wanted to escape then what is to account for the popularity of talk shows like Maury. (Of course this predated reality tv by years.)I said people want to see REAL LIFE.

    That being said, Mark, cast and love big girls too.

    Just had to get that in the mix.

    Comment by benebe -

  66. I never understood why people went crazy over reality shows.

    Turn off the TV everyone and enjoy some reality with your Kids, Family and Friends, because you will never see reruns from them.

    Comment by Dan -

  67. I have only 3 reasons to watch ABC this year: Benefactor, Alias, and Lost. The Milwaukee affiliate, WISN, has decided that airing a special local Packers pre-game instead of The Benefactor’s premiere. Ok, well, I guess I can understand that, EXCEPT FOR THE PART WHERE THEY’RE NOT AIRING THE PREMIERE FOR THE BENEFACTOR AT ALL. I’ve checked my guide on my digital cable. It’s not there. Mark, do you have any kind of pull on this kind of thing?

    Comment by Andrew -

  68. Like “Joe” above, I’m a fan of this blog and plan to watch both shows.

    I was just telling a co-worker that the apprentice was the first show in a long time that made we actually get home to see it. Before that it was Alias (get a lead-in from that and you’re golden) and before that law and order (any of the series). So it’s a short list.

    I’ll watch a few minutes of a new show’s begining and end and generally will decide if I should continue to watch.

    So Mark I look forward to the first 5 minutes and the last 5 of the benefactor…

    Comment by The Mad Dater -

  69. Upcoming Fear Factor the Billionaire edition

    Comment by Randy -

  70. Mr Trump is a joke… he does things naturally and makes a joke out of himself. At least when you make a joke out of yourself, it’s all part of the PR plan. I don’t think he understands the old saying that “even bad publicity is good publicity”.

    Simply because he ridiculed your show, people will have to watch it at least once. If they hate Trump, they will watch just to snub him… if they love Trump, they’ll check it out just to see if he’s right.

    It’s a win-win situation, and you can’t beat that.

    Comment by Tov Henderson -

  71. midosm – The Casino ran it’s 13 weeks and is over. It didn’t perform very well in the ratings. I thought it was a decent show, but it lacked any real gripping substance. Not one of Burnett’s better efforts.

    Comment by TDavid -

  72. … yet, but I did see the Apprentice first season DVD and was thinking about it. I’m not a big Survivor fan (probably in the big minority) but I’ve liked a lot of Burnett’s work.

    As for the Benefactor, I’m at least a little bit intrigued and will likely set the TiVO as well.

    Comment by TDavid -

  73. Just great Mark, two billionaries fighting over whose dick is bigger. This should really help your cause…

    Comment by K Mart -

  74. “In every other reality show, everyone does the same thing. Everyone knows exactly what they are trying to do, and there is a set of rules and a winner is picked. Thats ok, but we did one better. On The Benefactor, all the challenges are open ended and there are no rules.”

    Yeah I got some good ideas for the NBA. You guys should take it to the next level by making the game more open-ended and getting rid of all the rules!

    Comment by erock -

  75. I am not quite sure how to view this last post. I commend you, Mr. Cuban, for trying to tell it like it is. You were even self-effacing, which you do not have to be, since this is your blog, and you have the right to display any ego you should choose. In that regard, you are a step ahead of most bloggers, who really paint themselves with stylized brushes.

    However, responding to DOnald Trump at all speaks to a lack of confidence, and that belies the earlier sentiment. Let me explain, lest the other people, and yourself, think I am attacking you.

    It has been my experience, expecially regarding the internet, that justifications, attacks, or other such postings are usually wasted efforts. I am sure you have noticed a similiar trend. No doubt most people have. All that results is the croney croon of either your supporters or the people you are speaking out against. Surely your comments section displays both.

    Further, such action usually, if not exclusively, takes place when someone has noticed an affront they are particularly sensitive to. Again, I think this is the case with you, as you are probably hearing comparisons daily to The Apprentice, as well as, on a more personal level, Trump himself. I would think the similarities are few in both regards, but perhaps they sting a bit too close to true for you. I won’t speculate.

    However, posting after all of this reeks for those reasons, whether intended or not. The people who used the internet before us, or at least made up the rules we now adhere to, have ruined this aspect for us. It’s a shame really, because it makes people like you, who want a public forum, appear less than what you are, or what you want to appear, and it makes people like me, who think they know more than they do, have to write about it.

    Anyway, I thuroughly enjoy most of your posts, especially those regarding the NBA and its officiating, and I enjoyed reading this one. I felt, though, compelled to write what I thought about it, or rather the muddled state of thinking I am currently in as a result of reading it, and I acted on that compulsion.

    J

    Comment by Joshua Page -

  76. Speaking of reality TV, what happened to Fox’s The Casino? It’s no longer on their web site or the schedule. What gives? Anyone?

    Comment by midosm -

  77. Speaking of reality TV, what happened to Fox’s The Casino? It’s no longer on their web site or the schedule. What gives? Anyone?

    Comment by midosm -

  78. Gotta vote Mark, just because I’m a big Mav’s fan and he’s taken a joke of a team and made them one of the elite.
    On the TV side, I will alot time to each of you and my challenge to you is…entertain me! I look forward to it.

    Comment by Troy -

  79. Donald Trump’s not all that. Look at his gambling operation. Bankrupt! And, besides, gambling? How sleazy!! Take the high road, Mark.

    Brazos Dalton
    Brazosport, TX

    Comment by Brazos Dalton -

  80. You tell him, MC. You came from the heart and broke it down like a true player in the game. No over analyzing of thoughts. Just true facts, plain and simple. We all know” Trump doesn’t operate on the same level as most down to earth people like you, so we’ll have to try and excuse his blind version of reality. I can’t keep from laughing cause the most amusing part about “the Donald” other than the hair (wig) thing is his show’s punch line “YOU’RE FIRED.” I’m sure he gets a big kick out of that. I’m telling you MC, “the Donald” is scared stiff right now because he knows that “The BENEFACTOR” is going to be the hottest and most talked about reality this season.

    Can’t wait to see the show.

    Ap

    Comment by Ap -

  81. Since you mentioned that all reality shows were knockoffs of Survivor I think it´s only fair to mention that Survivor is a knockoff. It´s based entirely on a swedish show called Expedition Robinson. Same type of challenges, voting and settings.

    Comment by Pétur Björn -

  82. Stay cool, Mark! You are sounding like the contestants in The Benefactor and the Apprentice 2 already…to the point that it almost sounds like you are competing to get the Donald’s approval!

    I think your business acumen is way above both shows’ contestants (your street & business smarts and investment skills are very evident from your blogs). So why downgrade yourself to the contestants’ level?

    Comment by Ron W -

  83. I have always been a big Mark Cuban fan (and I’m NOT a sports fan at all!) I just like the way he has always approached his ventures with an “average guy” attitude, unlike Trump who is so ostentatious and showy. If nothing else, I like Cuban’s hair better! I’ll be tuning in and TiVo-ing!!

    Comment by JB -

  84. Your tone in this post is one of being bothered, and perhaps a little defensive.

    I’m not sure why. It only helps you to have Trump saying things about your show. It helps pique your potential audiences interest.

    Now perhaps you are responding on purpose: you want to create a fight between you and Trump, because a fight will bring you excellent ratings. If so, then well done.

    Comment by Dingo -

  85. Mark

    You have a firm grip on “Reality”, and you should take it to the next level. You should do the “Hollywood Under Siege Project”. It will blow “The Donald’s” and Mark Burnett’s mind”!

    See Ya!
    Phil

    Comment by Phil McGaughey -

  86. What is this, rich guy smackdown? I’m a fan of yours Mark, but you should be above this pissing contest with The Donald – I mean, look at the guy’s hair fer Chissake.

    Comment by Drew Mabry -

  87. Website based on my Benefactor experience.

    http://www.YOURREEL.com

    Comment by Michael Gavlak -

  88. Trust me/him (Mark). It’s going to be a hit.

    Comment by Michael Gavlak -

  89. I think the two of you should play one on one hoops at Chelsea Piers. Seriously, the “I dont have the luxury of premiering after Friends” was delicious.

    Comment by Ron Mwangaguhunga -

  90. Jesus, Mark, you’re a real whino! I just read your entry. If you could become a billionaire, I should be able to become at least a millionaire.

    You should take some advice from me. As Trump is a TiVo hit and you’re not, try keeping your head low till you succeed.

    Think of the jackal. It laughes and distracts, it limps and its prey shakes its head, thinking “how could I have ever been afraid for that animal”. Then, my dear Mark, the jackal jumps its prey and cuts its throat off.

    Comment by John Bob -

  91. Great post as usual. If The Benefactor brings in 1/10th of the kind of no-BS, opinionated personality that you put into your blog, it’ll be a hit.

    I’ll be watching Benefactor and Apprentice, but I’m more interested in Benefactor. With The Donald still the centerpiece, Apprentice will be stale, dull and predictable (just like The Donald).

    Comment by Cap'n Ken -

  92. Really like the blog! Wish more people who say they’re misrepresented in the media would take the time to put their own words and thoughts out their in a blog!

    One request. Please don’t use the bold so much. I keep trying to click on the bold like it’s a link to something relavent. In fact, more links to stuff (like what ‘the Donald’ actually said) would be great! Thanks!

    Comment by Eric -

  93. I watched The Apprentice last season and I plan to watch the Benefactor now. But, I thought they were completely different concepts. One is supposed to be a job interview in which the winner gets a high six-figure salary and a position working for a billionaire for a year. The other, is supposed to be a contest to see who can get a billionaire to like them more than the other contestants and win a million dollars from him.
    I think they are both interesting premises and I plan to watch both (I, too, have TIVO!) and I can’t wait for TWOP to get their claws into these shows.
    Good Luck, Mark! And if you don’t like any of these people, e-mail me and I can tell you where to send the million bucks!
    (Hey! It could happen!)

    Comment by Ana -

  94. MARK! i will tell you that i am a huge fan of yours and the team you own….not only that, but i have been waiting ALL SUMMER LONG FOR BENEFACTOR!!!!!!!! so dont worry mark, you have support here…even if its just my eyes watching, i will be glued every monday/thurs to ABC watching your show. i’ve been telling all my friends about it, seeing as im so excited to see it.

    CANT WAIT TILL MONDaYY!!!

    Comment by cali -

  95. I think you’re downplaying too much the importance of Trump in the success of the Apprentice. The only slightly interesting competitors were Omarosa and Sam, but they couldn’t just show those 2 all the time. The most consistently riveting part of the show, and the part that kept viewers watching ’til the end of the hour, was the boardroom session at the end with Trump grilling everyone on their performance. I can think of no other character in the business world with a reputation and demeanor that could have played the role as well.

    Comment by Gman -

  96. First off, great post.

    But Survivor wasn’t the pioneer in reality TV series. It was none other than MTV! Their “Real World” was the beginning of reality TV. And the producers of MTV purposely crafted the situations in the series just as much as the challenges in Survivor, except without the “jungle” aspect, urban jungle maybe. I’m not a big MTV fan now, but I was some 10+ years ago.

    Comment by Darrell -

  97. that people watching your show, and flipping through the channels in breaks, can and will sample The Benefactor

    gee, i thought a man of your observational aptitude would realize there is a conspiracy among all networks to run commercials at the same times during shows. The idea is to let your viewers stay on your show without fear they might be hooked by something else, and allow the general advertisers know at least some commercials will be seen. me? i “tivo & watch later.

    Comment by gag -

  98. Apprentice was a one season wonder, Donalds ego won’t be as amusing the second time through.

    Comment by Joe -

  99. Mark, dude, gotta give you props for the rebuttal. It was a “good character” response. I gotta admit, I’d of told him to “take a long walk of a short pier”, or to “shove it up his cornhole”. But this is why you have a billion dollars and a tv show and I should be working but am reading your blogs for valuable insight! 😉 Seriously though, it was very respectable, hence the reason i’m a big fan!

    Comment by simants -

  100. I’m a fan of your blog, I do plan on watching your “benefactor” show, and I’ll continue to watch if it’s as good as you mentioned. However, please don’t be upset if I also plan on watching apprentice too.

    The fact is, both you and Donald are successful individuals and that’s the kind of people I lend an ear to (or in TV’s case, an eye) in the hopes of duplicating their success.

    That’s why I’ve picked up Donald’s latest book. Like him or hate him, he knows what he’s doing and therefore he’s a legitamate source of knowledge. I’m hoping that you will also follow suit and write a book of your own. I’m sure your story to the top and business advice would make for a good read. There’s stuff that I can learn from you too, Mark!

    I suppose this rivalry between you and Donald is a bi-product of both of your competitive nature. It’s what’s needed to succeed in the business world, right? I predict that this newfound “battle of the billionaires” will be this fall’s real drama.

    I do have a great deal to learn from both from the guys at the top but I hope that you and Donald will take this advice from someone who is struggling at the bottom: stop once in a while to reflect on how much you have to be grateful for.

    Comment by Joe -

  101. After waking up to you on the radio this morning, I was somewhat beguiled at the prospect of finding something on television that was ‘real’ in the old fashioned ’70 sense of the word, and had hoped, by coming here, to get a larger perspective of what your show had to offer; but what did I find … little more than Trump bashing; although, that is not altogether a bad thing. As one of the few Americans who has never watched a reality show, you would really have gotten something if you could have grabbed me. Alas, without more information, the highly distractible state of my own reality will make me forget to check the TV listings next week for … let see … what was the name of that show … ? All grumbling aside, this is quite a good blog.

    Comment by MS Jones -

  102. I’m much more excited about the Benefactor than The Apprentice. I think the Apprentice is pretty much a joke. I mean common, it’s stupid that they’re trying to fool us into believing that Donald actually thinks that because people can sell lemonade well, or bottled water well, or sell art in a gallery well, or organize a casual golf outing, that they are a good candidate to work for him. I think the tasks on The Apprentice are a rediculous, compared to what the task of working for Donald would be. In the Benefactor, i foresee things as being a bit different. I don’t think you (Mark) will have the people running around doing stupid stuff that doesn’t really mean anything about how good of a worker they would be, etc. I think you’ll have them do things that actually help you learn what kind of person they really are (which the Apprentice doesn’t). Although i must say, the Apprentice did do one thing good, it did successfully expose what a B**** Omorosa is. 🙂

    Comment by nikolausp -

  103. I look at this one of a few ways:
    Either…
    A) You and Donald really dislike each other (and I can see why…personally, I don’t blame you).
    Or…
    B) All the free publicity and controversy you both are engaged in has the desired effect of stimulating even greater attention in your respective shows…
    Im going with…
    C) All of the above.

    Nice…standing up for yourself and saving money on marketing…not a bad trade-off…I’m sure you considered the source and know who really is much better off (happiness, self-fulfillment, and true friendship cannot be bought).

    Comment by josh -

  104. But, would it not be cool to actually work for Mark? Well, except as an “Account Exec” selling Mavs season tickets. Nonetheless, I’d rather have Mark on my resume than Donald. Maybe Donald would sell better in Manhattan, but I’d take “the other” anywhere else, especially if it was a verifiable reference.

    That said, I have never watched a minute of “The Apprentice”, nor shall I.

    Comment by al -

  105. Donald Trump is a complete joke. I will say the first Apprentice was okay but did it really have anything to do with big business? Selling lemonade and bottled water, renting apartments, does one need to go to the Wharton school of business to do this stuff? At the end of the day the winner gets a job working for the Donald, sweet!!, I’d rather have the million bucks from Mark. I’ll be tuning in to the Benefactor Monday’s this fall and watching it again on Thursdays. Good luck Mark.

    Comment by Blake -

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