'Celebrity Apprentice' will return

NBC orders ninth season of competitive reality show

NBC has picked up "The Celebrity Apprentice" for another cycle to air in spring 2010.

There had been some talk about reverting to the original "Apprentice" format with regular people as contestants, but the network ultimately opted for the celebrity version that reinvigorated the franchise last year.

"'The Celebrity Apprentice' is the ultimate business and reality show at the top of its game and has exploded in popularity this season while also raising an impressive amount of money for charity," said Paul Telegdy, executive vp alternative programming, NBC and Universal Media Studios.

Returning for the new season -- the "Apprentice" franchise's ninth overall -- are star/exec producer Donald Trump and creator/exec producer Mark Burnett.

This year, "The Celebrity Apprentice" is averaging a 3.5 rating/9 share among adults 18-49 and 8.6 million viewers overall.

The show is produced by Mark Burnett Prods. in association with Trump Prods. Burnett, Trump, Page Feldman and Eden Gaha are exec producers.