In Depth

Blagojevich’s Reality TV Turn Rejected

Blago's a no-go.

A state judge has nixed impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's attempt to appear on NBC's summer reality show "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here."

According to MSNBC, the Illinois judge in the case turned down the request because he believed Mr. Blagojevich wasn't taking his criminal case seriously and because he needs to participate in his own defense.

The rejection came even though NBC and Granada America had agreed to pay to have retired U.S. marshals guard Mr. Blagojevich, MSNBC reported. The ex-governor also had agreed to give up any extradition rights; the show is being filmed in Costa Rica.

It's unclear what NBC and Granada will do next. Some industry observers have suggested NBC might be wise to move the show to an American location, making it easier for Blagojevich to participate, but NBC shot down that idea in a statement issued Tuesday.

In a statement, NBC said, "NBC is disappointed in the court’s decision today regarding Rod Blagojevich’s participation on 'I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!,' but excited about the casting announcement for the show this Friday. There are no plans to move the show to a location in the United States."

NBC also could try to find another disgraced politico (think ex-New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer?) to fill the spot.

(Editor: Baumann)
(12:55 p.m.: Updated with NBC statement)