NEW YORK —
"Terminator" star Arnold Schwarzenegger will be the new host of NBC's reality TV show "The Celebrity Apprentice," the network said on Monday, replacing Donald Trump who is currently running for U.S. president.
Schwarzenegger, 68, who returned to moviemaking after ending his second term as California governor in 2011, will take over when the show returns in the 2016-17 season, NBC, a unit of Comcast Corp, said in a statement.
"Arnold Schwarzenegger is the epitome of a global brand in entertainment and business, and his accomplishments in the political arena speak for themselves, " Paul Telegdy, president of alternative programming for NBC, said in a statement.
Donald Trump flashes the thumbs-up as he arrives on stage for the start of a Republican presidential debate, Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland, Ohio.
Telegdy said Schwarzenegger had ideas for "a fresh take" on the show, in which celebrities compete with each other on business tasks while raising money for charities. Trump, who coined the catch phrase "You're fired," stepped down from "Celebrity Apprentice's predecessor, "The Apprentice," earlier this year because he decided to run as a Republican candidate for U.S. president in 2016. He is currently leading opinion polls.
Schwarzenegger said he was a huge fan of 'The Celebrity Apprentice' and "the way it showcases the challenges and triumphs of business and teamwork. I am thrilled to bring my experience to the boardroom and to continue to raise millions for charity."
The Austrian-born action hero and former bodybuilder has released a handful of movies since returning to the entertainment industry, but few have had the box office success he enjoyed in the 1980s and 1990s with films like "Conan the Barbarian" and "The Terminator."
His latest outing "Terminator: Genisys," released in July, brought in a disappointing $90 million at the North American box office but fared much better overseas with about $350 million, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com .