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Mark Burnett on Donald Trump, 'The Voice' & Why 'Survivor' Survives

by Joel Keller, posted May 20th 2011 2:30PM
Mark BurnettMark Burnett was in a bit of a feisty mood yesterday. It's understandable, given the combination of controversy and great ratings that have been attached to some of the reality shows he produces lately. He's got three currently on the air.

First, there's 'The Celebrity Apprentice,' which is steaming towards its live finale (Sunday, May 22, 9PM ET on NBC), with John Rich and Marlee Matlin facing off for the right to be "hired" by Donald Trump. The show has been renewed for a fifth celebrity season; Trump also recently decided not to run for President, but not without leaving months of new material for late night talk shows in his wake.

Then there's 'The Voice,' which is gaining momentum after a strong start, with the combination of talented singers and red hot judges (Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton) keeping people tuning in.

But when we spoke, we started with his most venerable show, 'Survivor,' which just ended its 22nd season on Sunday. We talked about the decision to bring back 'Redemption Island' for season 23, then moved on to a question that seemed like it would be innocent. His reaction was anything but ...

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