When The Apprentice Aotearoa reboot was announced, critics weren't sure how a show whose format was originally created by former US president Donald Trump would rate with Kiwi viewers.
But the results are in for the first episode of the show, which screened on Monday May 10, and New Zealanders are loving it.
Not only did the first episode hosted by mortgage man Mike Pero win its 8.30pm time slot, it boosted the slot's performance by 20 per cent compared to the average for the previous four weeks (April 12 to May 3), according to a statement from TVNZ.
TVNZ also revealed that the premiere reached an average of 483,200 viewers - even outperforming the first episode of The Masked Singer, which pulled in over 400,000 viewers when it screened last Sunday night on Three.
It comes after controversy surrounding the name of the show shortly after the first episode aired.
Earlier this week, a viewer called for Pero to be fired from his position as host of the show over the use of the word "Aotearoa" in its title.
The viewer contacted Pero directly and said he was offended at the use of the Māori name for this country on the show.
The entrepreneur wrote in response that he respected the person's views and said it was not his call to name the show The Apprentice Aotearoa.
The complainant then shared Pero's reply with the Herald in a letter to the editor.
"It would appear that most of the population want to retain New Zealand as the name of our country, but Mike Pero does not seem to grasp that fact with his apprentice programme and he himself should be fired," part of the viewer's complaint read.
"I am just an actor. TVNZ own the show and it was their decision," Pero wrote in response, adding the viewer should "talk to Jacinda [Ardern] it's her company".
While TVNZ is a state-owned broadcaster, it is not run by the Government.
Contacted for further comment, Pero referred the Herald to TVNZ. He did stress that he strongly disagreed with the complainant's views.
• The Apprentice Aotearoa screens on Mondays on TVNZ1 at 8.30pm and is also available on TVNZ On Demand