Rod Blagojevich headed to 'Apprentice'

NBC has not commented on casting the ex-Illinois governor

CHICAGO -- Out of work since he was impeached by Illinois lawmakers, Rod Blagojevich is taking his job search to TV's toughest boss -- Donald Trump.

The ousted Illinois governor will make an appearance on Trump's "The Celebrity Apprentice" reality television show on NBC, said a person close to Blagojevich's team who was briefed on the plan. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because it hadn't been officially announced, said Blagojevich would be paid for his appearance but the amount was undisclosed.

It was unclear if Blagojevich would compete or just make an appearance on the show.

"NBC doesn't comment on casting until there's an official announcement to be made," NBC spokeswoman Amanda Ruisi said Friday.

Blagojevich spokesman Glenn Selig could not immediately be reached for comment on Friday. Messages were left on his answering machine and e-mail.

Blagojevich currently faces federal corruption charges for allegedly scheming to sell or trade President Barack Obama's former U.S. Senate seat for campaign money or a high-paying job for his wife or himself. He has pleaded not guilty and says he has done nothing wrong. His trial is due to get under way in Chicago on June 3.

Earlier this year, Blagojevich's wife, Patti, went into the Costa Rican jungle as a contestant on NBC's "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!"

She lost her chance to win the title "queen of the jungle" when she was tossed after 23 days. She later said she lost 12 pounds.

The ninth season of "The Celebrity Apprentice" is scheduled to air in spring 2010. The network has said production was expected to begin in the fall, when 16 celebrities meet and compete in business-oriented challenges. All but one will eventually hear Trump tell them, "You're fired!"
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