Before he was elected president, Donald Trump once pitched a scripted fictional drama called “The Tower” about a group of models who live in the same New York City apartment building, according to the New York Times.
Buried deep in Wednesday’s Times’ lengthy feature on the relationship between Trump and CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker is the fascinating tidbit about the president’s Hollywood ambitions in his previous life. Before running CNN, Zucker was an NBC executive who greenlit “The Apprentice,” the reality show that cemented Trump’s status as a celebrity.
But Zucker’s job came with “certain obligations,” as the Times put it, to entertain ideas from talent and even pursue them to keep the talent happy.
“Trump wanted to create a scripted fictional show called ‘The Tower’ — like ‘Dynasty,’ only about a group of models who live in a Manhattan skyscraper — Zucker instructed his development team to buy the pitch and hire a writer, even though he never intended to put it on TV,” the Times reported.
The paper noted that Trump demanded they had to hire real models, not actresses, to star in the series. The Times suggested that Zucker played along because “The Apprentice” was so successful at the time, but added that he would “would roll his eyes and laugh” when Trump touted inaccurate ratings data.
Zucker’s history with Trump goes back more than a decade. In 2003, Zucker was in charge of NBC Entertainment, and had been sent to Los Angeles by his brass to find a reality show to vie with “Survivor” on CBS and “American Idol” on Fox.
He found it in “The Apprentice.”
Trump and Zucker don’t exactly have a strong relationship these days, with the president often referring to CNN as “fake news” while touting archrival Fox News.
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