April 15th, 2009
09:26 AM ET
5 years ago

Blagojevich hoping to appear in NBC reality show

Blagojevich has inked a deal to appear on an NBC reality show, if a judge allows.
Blagojevich has inked a deal to appear on an NBC reality show, if a judge allows.

(CNN) – Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's career as a politician appears to be over, but a new career in the world of reality television could just be beginning.

The impeached former governor has inked a deal to appear on an NBC celebrity-themed reality show, assuming a federal judge allows him to travel as his criminal charges remain pending, the network said in a statement.

The upcoming show, called I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!, pits 10 celebrities in a Costa Rican village for a month while they battle each other in competitions and put their survival skills to the test. The show will air nightly and viewers will have the final say on which celebrities have to go home early.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the financially-strained Blagojevich stands to make $80,000 a week for his appearance on the show. Blagojevich's attorney will soon make a formal request that the former governor be allowed to travel outside of the country for the gig, the Tribune also reported.

An ill-fated earlier iteration of the show ran on ABC six years ago, when the celebrity cast included Melissa Rivers, Bruce Jenner, and Tyson Beckford. Chris Judd, the onetime husband of Jennifer Lopez, won the competition that year. The show drew little attention then and was not renewed.

Blagojevich, who was impeached and removed from office earlier this year, pleaded not guilty to federal corruption charges Tuesday. A federal grand jury indicted him this month on 16 felony counts, including racketeering, conspiracy, wire fraud and making false statements to investigators.i


Filed under: Rod Blagojevich
soundoff (119 Responses)
  1. Baze

    I think we're looking at the next Jerry Springer here.

    April 15, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  2. Susan

    Wait, isn't he headed to jail soon? Maybe they can do the show from prison. Regardless, who wants to see this man do anything other than his time?

    April 15, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  3. Ben

    Why are we rewarding this guys illegal and unethical behavior with an $80,000 job? I am a teacher. How am I supposed to teach my students the difference between right and wrong when the real-world models they see are wrong behavior paying off?

    April 15, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  4. Kevin (Naperville, IL)

    If he is allowed to be on the show, I hope the public votes him off in the first week. There's no way he should off the financial hook that easily.

    April 15, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  5. Edward Blake

    I cannot imagine any reason why anyone with half a brain or more would want to watch a show like that. I promise that if my television is on at the time, it WILL be on a different channel.

    April 15, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  6. FreeNLovIt

    That is awsome and it is the way to go!!! CNN News and other News Network are too above this level and it really needs to be its own reality show. I suggest the Palin kids go for a reality show.

    April 15, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  7. Steph

    I think he should star in his own reality show...from JAIL.

    April 15, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  8. SHIRLEY "60"

    If I have ever seen a possible flight risk, it is this guy. He knows already that he could not survive prison. I hope he is not allowed to avoid prosecution.

    April 15, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  9. NBC must be crazy

    this will draw viewers, but drag NBC down to the depths of Fox News

    April 15, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  10. Dave C - NJ

    Isn't it illegal to cash in on a crime?

    April 15, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  11. Watchful Cowboy

    Doesn't surprise me at all – regular citizens get in trouble and pay – celebrities just get more press coverage.....who is going to do his hair while he is in the jungle?

    April 15, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  12. S Callahan

    It's really frightening there are so many screwed up people in power for our country............

    April 15, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  13. Fair is Fair

    I'll tell you right now. If Blago is facing some serious time (and he is), he's going to plea down his case and take a bunch of Chicago thug politicians with him.

    He's going to sing like a dunken narcissist on karaoke night.

    April 15, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  14. Jon

    You gotta love this guy. (Unless you live in Illinois, I guess.)

    April 15, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  15. Thomas

    It is only fitting. The show I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! is for has-beens pittifully begging for attention right?

    April 15, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  16. AJ

    Disgusting. I may just boycott NBC for that.

    April 15, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  17. Susan

    Oh, Rod, how much lower can you go. I think you just hit bottom. How pathetic you have become!

    April 15, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  18. Monrob

    This is the kind of job President Bush should get!

    April 15, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  19. Larry from RI

    I guess a reality show is better than his own reality – which is looking like prison time.

    April 15, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  20. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    You can use Blago's hair as a flotation device if the show is like Survivor.

    April 15, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  21. Doug, New Jersey

    Blago's show, here are some appropriate names for it.

    Who wants to be a Democrat
    American Liberal
    Barak of Love
    Socialist Survivor
    Chicgoland Dem libbies
    DNC Chicago
    The weakest lib
    A day in the life of a Democrat

    April 15, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  22. T Hill

    Can the show be done from jail?

    April 15, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  23. Colleen Glaser

    I think Blagojevich should be mandated by court to participate in this "celebrity" series and then put the money earned into the city of Chicago.

    April 15, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  24. Kim

    It's disturbing that he thinks of himself as a celebrity. What an ego! NBC would be hitting an all time low putting him on the air considering what he is charged with. I for one would not watch it.

    April 15, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  25. MLH

    I've never actually seen that show, and now I know not to bother. If this person is the best they can sign, they must be in real trouble.

    April 15, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
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