NBC recruits Blagojevich as reality star

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (L) and attorney Sheldon Sorosky smile as they leave the Dirksen federal building after his arraignment hearing in Chicago, Illinois April 14, 2009. REUTERS/Frank Polich

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Rod Blagojevich, recently removed from office as governor of Illinois, has made a deal to star in NBC’s upcoming summer reality show “I’m a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here,” the network confirmed Tuesday.

“Rod Blagojevich will be a participant on the show pending the court’s approval,” NBC said.

In the series, 10 celebrities of various backgrounds compete in challenges to raise money for their favorite charities.

The network has been looking for household names for its version of the U.K. hit, which launches June 1. NBC is taking the unusual step of airing the show four nights a week at 8 p.m. for nearly a month, and a successful launch could 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.

After being impeached by the Illinois House of Representatives for corruption and misconduct in office and subsequently convicted and removed from office by the State Senate, Blagojevich was indicted April 1 on federal corruption charges that included 11 counts of wire fraud, three of extortion, one of racketeering and one of lying to federal investigators.

He has pleaded not guilty.