Martha Doesn’t Fit Into NBC’s Plans

NBC announced today that The Apprentice: Martha would not be renewed for a second season. The announcement is not surprising, as Martha’s Apprentice continues to pull in low ratings.

It’s too bad that the show isn’t living up to the high expectations network execs had. The tasks are interesting, and the contestants make up one of the most normal casts of any reality show. Viewers can watch without feeling guilty about it later.

But that’s also what keeps people from tuning in. Devout haters of reality programming won’t give it a chance on principle, even though it’s a surprisingly family-friendly show. And many hardcore reality fans expect producers to cast a bunch of crazies who will make fools of themselves. Apart from manic Jim, most of the contestants on The Apprentice: Martha are level-headed individuals.

Each season of The Apprentice takes on the demeanor of its host. Donald Trump is eccentric and pompous, and contestants inevitably display some of their own eccentricities and pompousness. Martha Stewart is focused and calm, and, most of the time, so are her contestants. Calm and focused works well when you’re presenting recipes and decorating tips, not when you’re conducting a competitive reality show.

Even though the show won’t make it to a second season, Martha may wind up with a competent employee for her company. Dawna knows how to get the best out of her teammates, which makes her a good candidate for an executive position. Leslie is similarly qualified, although she may want to see if she can cash in as an on-air personality at QVC.

But Dawna and Leslie exemplify why Martha’s Apprentice couldn’t last. They are hard-working professionals who want to portray themselves in the best manner possible, and reality fans hate that. What good is reality TV without a Jim, Omarosa, or Stacie J. to make you feel normal?