NBC wants Blagojevich


If a federal judge gives the OK, ousted Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich will be heading to Costa Rica for a TV reality show. Blagojevich is under travel restrictions while out on bail awaiting trial on corruption charges.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Blagojevich’s lawyer told the court that his client will be submitting a request to loosen his travel restrictions so he can fly to Costa Rica to participate in the next edition of “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here.” That would put him right up there on the list of celebrity notables from the first season, which aired on ABC, including “Stuttering” John Melendez, “Downtown” Julie Brown, Robin Leach and Alana Stewart (a double “celebrity” as ex-wife of both Rod Stewart and George Hamilton.)

Why would “Blago” want to do this? He needs cash and the gig pays $80,000 per week, according to a Tribune source. So, he’s willing to go play Tarzan in the Costa Rican jungle as cameras role – and try to outlast some other down on their luck celebrities.

“I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here” was a hit in Great Britain, where the recent 8th season was won by UK TV star Joe Swash, with tennis star Martina Navratilova as runner-up. But the first run in the US produced only tepid ratings for ABC. Thus, the move to NBC.

The Peacock Network recently announced that the series will debut as a two-hour television event on Monday, June 1 (8-10 pm ET) and will be stripped over four weeks in June – airing Monday through Thursdays for the first three weeks beginning June 1 (8-9 pm ET) and during the fourth week of June, the series will be telecast Monday through Wednesday (8-9 pm ET), with the finale on Wednesday, June 24 (8-9 pm ET).

RBR/TVBR observation: NBC and Granada America haven’t disclosed the names of any of the other “celebrity” contestants, since they apparently don’t need judicial approval. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that Eliot Spitzer will be in the mix.