8:38am PT by Kate Stanhope
Donald Trump Returning to NBC for 'Tonight Show' Appearance
After a summer of estrangement, Donald Trump is headed back to NBC.
The Republican presidential candidate and former Celebrity Apprentice host will stop by The Tonight Show on Sept. 11, NBC announced on Tuesday.
This will mark one of Trump's first appearances on the network since he and NBC parted ways in early July after he made what NBC deemed to be "derogatory statements" in which he referred to Mexican illegal immigrants as "rapists" bringing drugs and crime into the U.S. In addition to cutting Trump from Celebrity Apprentice, the network also dropped the Miss USA pageant — which instead aired on Reelz Channel on July 12 — as well as the Miss Universe and Miss Teen USA pageants. Both pageants had aired on NBC for the previous 11 years.
He has not appeared on any NBC shows, with the exception of Today, since then.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter last month, Trump discussed his changed relationship with NBC. "The primary tension I had was that they wanted me to do The Apprentice, and they were very angry that I didn't do it," said Trump. "They didn't cut ties with me. I cut ties with them out of respect. But they were very upset."
Speaking at the Television Critics Association summer press tour last month, NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt was open about the network's separation from Trump, but also called him "a lovely guy."
"We weren’t in any sort of adversarial position. There were no controversies," said Greenblatt. "It was a congenial, really great relationship."
Although Greenblatt ruled out Trump's possible return to Celebrity Apprentice down the line — "absolutely not," he said — the network chief also said Trump was "absolutely" welcome on the network's late-night shows.
Trump becomes the latest presidential hopeful to hit the late-night circuit. Governor Chris Christie appeared on The Tonight Show on Monday. Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush and Senator Bernie Sanders will visit The Late Show With Stephen Colbert during the program's first and second weeks of shows, respectively.
The Tonight Show airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. on NBC.