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Blago Does NBC, Pending Court OK

NBC, which this summer will pick up with "I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here" where ABC left off, has broadened the definition of "celebrity" to include indicted ex-governors, casting Illinois's Rod Blagojevich.

Pending the court's approval, of course, NBC added in a statement.

Impeached Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. (Getty)

Blagojevich would be one of 10 "celebrities" competing in challenges -- to raise money for their favorite charities, of course. That said, some "celebrity"-cast reality shows also pay those celebs to participate. That payment is separate from their raised-for-charity dollars. No word back from an NBC rep in re whether that's the case here.

Here's the catch: Blagojevich's attorney has to file a request to loosen his client's travel restrictions to participate in the show. Because it's being shot in Costa Rica. Blagojevich was indicted earlier this month on federal corruption charges, including counts of wire fraud, racketeering and lying to federal investigators.

He has plead not guilty.

The network has been looking for "celebrities" for its version of the British reality series. NBC's attempt to re-launch it in the US kicks off June 1. In its effort to succeed where ABC failed, NBC will try stripping the show, airing it five nights a week at 8 p.m. for four weeks. It's the same so-called play pattern NBC will use with Jay Leno's new talk show at 10 p.m. weekdays when that show launches in the fall, only Leno's show will have the hour on a more permanent basis.

ABC first tried getting U.S. viewers interested in this Brit reality format back in 2003, but it didn't take.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  April 15, 2009; 9:50 AM ET
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Blagojevich's charity is reported to be the "Rod Blagojevich Legal Defense Fund."

Posted by: VTDuffman | April 15, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Adding to the sleze of TV. Fox News (pretty sleazey in its own way) would love it, since they hate the governor and hate NBC.

Posted by: Sutter | April 15, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

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