Impeached Illinois governor hopes to appear on reality show
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich couldn't survive an impeachment trial, but perhaps he'll fare better in a Costa Rican jungle where scheming is more than allowed - it's encouraged.
The indicted politician has agreed to appear on "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here," a survival-style reality show set to air beginning June 1 on NBC, the network confirmed. The opportunity could prove a bonanza for the financially pressed former governor, given the show would pay him $80,000 a week, a source said.
Before he can ink the deal, however, Blagojevich would need permission from the federal judge presiding over his corruption trial to fly to Costa Rica, where the show will be filmed. Blagojevich's attorney told the judge Tuesday that the ex-governor soon would be making a request to loosen travel restrictions placed on him as part of his bail.
The network describes the show as a "Swiss Family Robinson"-type competition in which 10 celebrities are dropped in the heart of the jungle "to face fun and comedic challenges designed to test their survival skills." American viewers decide which celebrities go, in addition to selecting the challenges used to earn food, supplies and luxury items. The last celeb left is crowned King or Queen of the Jungle.
The show, inspired by a popular British program of the same name, debuted on ABC in 2003 and suffered anemic ratings over its 15-night run. Jennifer Lopez's ex-husband Cris Judd won the first stateside competition, beating the likes of Melissa Rivers, Bruce Jenner and Robin Leach.
NBC has not released the names of other Z-list celebrities who have agreed to participate. The program's producer, Granada America, declined to comment.