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April 14, 2009

NBC recruits Blagojevich for 'Celebrity'

Rod Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich has made a deal to star in NBC's upcoming summer reality show I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here, the network confirms.

"Rod Blagojevich will be a participant on the show pending the court's approval," said NBC in a statement.  

NBC has been looking for household names for its version of the U.K. hit, which launches June 1. With NBC taking the unusually intensive step of airing the show four nights a week at 8 p.m. for nearly a month, a successful launch could help fuel the network's entire summer schedule. 

According to the Chicago Tribune, Blagojevich's attorney told a federal judge Tuesday that he will file a request to loosen his client's travel restrictions to participate in the show, which will be shot in Costa Rica. Blago was indicted April 1 on 16 counts -- 11 counts of wire fraud, three of extortion, one of racketeering and one of lying to federal investigators. He has plead not guilty.

Given Blagojevich's notoriety following his arrest on federal corruption charges, he's bound to garner some curiosity tune-in for the network. Celebrity is produced by Granada, which signed Blagojevich for the show (provided the court rules the ex-governor facing multiple federal counts isn't a flight risk and permits him to leave the country to participate in a reality show).

Official Celebrity description: "Ten celebrities of various backgrounds will be dropped into the heart of the Costa Rican jungle to face challenges designed to test their skills in adapting to the wilderness and to raise money for their favorite charities."

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