Real estate tycoon and reality TV star Donald Trump said on Wednesday he is adding a Hollywood production company to his business empire, and has named a "fired" contestant from "The Apprentice" to run it. "He's a very talented guy, a very fine student from Harvard, and he's going to be terrific. I have no doubt about it," Trump said of Andy Litinsky, the young Ivy League graduate put in charge of Trump's as-yet unnamed new company. Trump also said he is developing a television show based on the classic real-estate board game Monopoly that is likely to be one of the first projects to emerge from his latest business venture.
Trump said he and reality TV producer R.J. Cutler, who helped make the Oscar-nominated documentary "The War Room," have been shopping the TV "Monopoly" idea to major networks and "people are very interested in it." Monopoly seems like an ideal fit for Trump, who owns several casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey -- the original setting for the board game in which players buy and develop property while trying to force each other into bankruptcy.
Trump, 60, already has had a hand in producing "The Apprentice," as well as the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, but wanted an outlet for developing new programs. Litinsky, a champion debater and Harvard graduate from Florida, was 23 when he appeared on "The Apprentice 2" in 2004 as one of 18 corporate wannabes competing for a high-paying job in the Trump organization. He even took his final Harvard exams while the show was in production. Although Trump gave Litinsky his trademark board-room dismissal "You're fired!" in one of the final rounds of the show, Litinsky made enough of an impression to land a job later as a project manager on Trump's business development team. "He did very well; he just had a particularly bad night," Trump said of Litinsky's "Apprentice" performance.