Arnold Schwarzenegger Will Take Over for Donald Trump as Host of ‘Celebrity Apprentice’

NBC cut ties with the GOP front-runner in June

Arnold Schwarzenegger will be the next host of NBC's Celebrity Apprentice, the network announced.

The actor turned twice-elected California governor will take over for Donald Trump, the only host the competition show has had, when it returns to NBC in the 2016-17 TV season.

"I have always been a huge fan of The Celebrity Apprentice and the way it showcases the challenges and triumphs of business and teamwork," Schwarzenegger said in a statement. "I am thrilled to bring my experience to the boardroom and to continue to raise millions for charity. Let's get started!"

NBC cut business ties with Trump, now the GOP presidential front-runner, in June, just as he began his run for the White House.

"Arnold Schwarzenegger is the epitome of a global brand in entertainment and business, and his accomplishments in the political arena speak for themselves," said Paul Telegdy, president of NBC's alternative and late-night programming. "It was Arnold's personal passion for the format that Mark Burnett and Donald Trump built over the last decade as well as his fresh take on how to take it to new heights for today's audiences that made him the man to hire."

In his seven seasons as host of Celebrity Apprentice, Trump helped raise more than $15 million for charity. Trump had also been host of the show's predecessor, The Apprentice, which debuted in January 2004. (Martha Stewart hosted a short-lived spinoff in the fall of 2005.)

Last season's Celebrity Apprentice finale was watched by 6.1 million viewers, up from the 5.3 million who watched the 2013 finale.

Last week, Trump acquired full ownership of the Miss Universe Organization, buying out NBC's 51 percent stake in the venture. Earlier today, WME/IMG announced it had acquired the pageant business from Trump.

Trump has already tweeted his approval of the new host:

@ChrisAriens Chris Ariens is the managing editor and director of video at Adweek.