Video: Blago: The next reality TV star?

NBC News and msnbc.com
updated 4/15/2009 12:36:16 PM ET 2009-04-15T16:36:16

Rod Blagojevich has been invited to take part in a reality TV show set in Costa Rica.

Based on a hit British program, "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!" is scheduled to premiere on NBC on June 1. (MSNBC.com is a Microsoft-NBC Universal joint venture.)

The show will see a group of celebrities left in the middle of the jungle, with viewers voting on who should stay or leave.

The impeached former Illinois governor reportedly could earn as much as $80,000 an episode.

NBC confirmed it wants him on the show, saying in a statement: "Rod Blagojevich will be a participant on the show pending the court's approval."

According to WMAQ, Blagojevich asked a federal judge Tuesday to allow him to travel if his bond was increased. The impeached governor reportedly believes the show could help finance his legal defense.

Blagojevich, 52, is charged with scheming to auction off President Barack Obama's former Senate seat, attempting to extort campaign money from companies seeking state business and plotting to use the financial muscle of the governor's office to pressure the Chicago Tribune to fire editorial writers calling for his impeachment.

Most of the charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Chicago courtroom.

Blagojevich, a self-employed real estate investor, told reporters after entering his not guilty plea that he was "prepared to cope with the charges and work through them."

'Survival skills'
NBC Entertainment described the live show as "the ultimate 'Swiss Family Robinson' as 10 celebrities are dropped into the heart of the jungle to face fun and comedic challenges designed to test their survival skills."

NBC said participants would be playing to win money for their favorite charities, with the last remaining star winning the largest share of the donation.

The show will air throughout the month of June, NBC said.

More on Rod Blagojevich

NBC News contributed to this report.

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