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. Carol

    Quit the malarkey. The guy was indicted, not convicted. If you guys had your way, Ted Stevens would have been sitting in prison. ;'

    He is INNOCENT unitl proven guilty, beyond a reasonable doubt. Simply because some federal prosecutor charges him, does not mean that a conviction is a sure thing. Got that? This is still America. (Talk out of one side of the mouth, wanting smaller government, but have no problem, penalizing someone on the sole word of one goverment prosecutor).

    He can't make a living before his trial?

    April 15, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  2. Mary

    $80,000 per week?? I guess crime really does pay. Very sad, especially when so many are losing their homes and/or jobs right now. NBC should be ashamed for paying someone because they are famous for committing crimes.

    April 15, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  3. v.w.

    Oh, please....just when I was getting used to Leno soon being on during prime time. Now this....NBC...Nothin' But Crap!

    April 15, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  4. sherey

    This is sooo wrong! He needs to be like all Americans who have to tough it out with financial woes. And, quite honestly, does NBC really think anyone wants to watch another sleezy guy who dyes his hair poorly...i don't think he's the go to guy to boost your ratings!

    April 15, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  5. Tom

    I will never watch NBC again.

    April 15, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  6. witch

    If any judge would grant him the right to leave the country then I will have lost all faith in the my country. He is out on bail he would be a flight risk. It is not NBC I would be angry with, it will be any judge that lets this awful man go to film the show. It is time the law does what it is suppose to do. Punish the people who break it not just give them a slap on the hand or look the other way. I live in Illinois and I am tired of this garbage of letting people off. HE HAS NO RIGHT TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY WHILE ON BOND HE WILL FLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 15, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  7. ldk

    This is too much. I've had it. The only redeeming thing is maybe, just maybe, he'll soon get sent to a place where they have a lot of big strong men. I'm sure his boyish looks and nice hair will earn him "celebrity" status at the men's club. The icing on the cake will be if his future "room mate" is a 6' 9" 300 pound hunk called Bubba.

    April 15, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  8. The Real Slim Shady

    This is disgusting. His crimminal activity (and please spare me the innocent until proven guilty), is what affords him celebrity status and that is not something that should be celebrated. He should be mocked, scorned and ridiculed.

    April 15, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  9. Patrick Doyle

    I will boycott NBC if this goes through.

    April 15, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  10. duh ray ray

    Im sure someone is waiting to call him "my girlfriend in prison.

    April 15, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  11. Ch in NM

    It never ends with this guy! I laughed so hard I cried when I read this. He really is living in his own reality.

    April 15, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  12. Jane

    We are an absolutely sick society.

    April 15, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  13. Kpawlak

    No surprise here. NBC is exactly where Blago belongs. I think he should co-anchor with Olbermann on MSNBC too. A perfect pair!

    April 15, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  14. Constantine

    Oh man. As a politician, Blagojevich is a corrupt schemer who desires nothing but power. This will make him an awesome reality show contestant.

    April 15, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  15. HouseDiva

    i wont be watching

    April 15, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  16. Henry Maxwell

    How many lives does this guy have?While Bernie Madoff takes lessons on "How to Survive Prison" Blagojevich signs up to a Reality Show on NBC.Unbelievable.

    April 15, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  17. melanie

    Excuse me, but this man belongs behind bars not off playing around in a foreign country for a reality series. Not to mention television is supposed to promote good values. They yanked Chris Brown's doublemint gum ad from the air right after the alleged incident with Rihanna so why in the world would they allow a person who is being indicted on 16 felony accounts to appear on a reality show???? If he's having financial trouble he should have thought about that while he was still in the governor's office doing secret deals under the table. I will definitely NOT be watching this show!!

    April 15, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  18. MN gal who voted for Obama

    The real issue here is that Costa Rica has no extradition treaty with the United States. At least I don't believe that has changed. So if he goes, we may not get him back so that he can stand trial.

    April 15, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  19. Deborah Treadway

    Oh, come on! Have we lost all our sense of decency, of right and wrong? Where is our shame? Do we have to exploit everything and everybody for the sake of greed? NBC is getting what it deserves for bowing to this man; no small wonder their ratings have plummeted.

    April 15, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  20. daniel cabrera

    Bah!, anyway, the tv tabloids, CNN and MSNBC are continuig going down....oh! as well as their idol, Obama, along with all his gang of corrupted people
    Perhaps their friends the pirates and terrorists will grant them sanctuary in Iran, or Somalia or just in a boat at sea. He-he–he-he
    good day
    Daniel Cabrera
    Merrillville,Indiana

    April 15, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  21. Scott AZ

    Here's ten more candidates for a reality game...Peolsi, Reid, Schumer, Dodd, Leahy, Frank, Gore, Libermann, Clinton and Gore. Call it 'Soak the Taxpayers'

    April 15, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  22. Jack

    Are criminals / under trials allowed to appear on press and media.

    Has the court not ordered a Gag order disallowing Blagojevich from making statements before the press and media?

    April 15, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  23. Mel

    No, I don't think so. He can go to jail, though.

    April 15, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  24. daniel girlyman

    He he he is funny you have to admit.

    April 15, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  25. CT from IL

    Let him leave the US for a reality show?

    You have got to be kidding me. This is a corrupt public official. Innocent until proven guilty is correct, but when they have him on tape from wiretaps and bugs, then that gets thrown out of the window. He got caught, he deserves to be in jail. PERIOD.

    April 15, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
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