Would there be a better TV show than plopping Rod Blagojevich in the middle of a jungle and watching him try to find his way out?
And if a federal judge gives the impeached ex-governor of Illinois the go-ahead, we'll get to see it. Bizarre? Yes. A possibility? Maybe.
The premise is simple. NBC explains: "Ten celebrities of various backgrounds will be dropped into the heart of the Costa Rican jungle to face challenges designed to test their skills in adapting to the wilderness and to raise money for their favorite charities. Rod Blagojevich will be a participant on the show pending the court's approval."
He needs the court's OK because he's facing 16 federal charges which could put him behind bars for 300 years. Yesterday, he asked the judge if he could travel, although he didn't mention the jungle TV show.
Reports are that he could make up to $80,000 per episode and this would help fund his legal team. A judge has not yet ruled on the request.
Although it could be hilarious television, early reviews are nearly all bad.
Danny Gallagher at TV Squad hopes the judge says no. "I'm the farthest thing from a legal expert. In fact, I think I'm ranked just behind Judge Wapner's dog, Skippy. But why should Blagojevich get special treatment, even if the money is going towards his legal defense?" he asks.
The guys at Chattahbox feel the same way, calling it "another really bad idea, where a network desperate for TV ratings sinks to a new low."
We think David Zuwarik at Z on TV is being sarcastic in his take on the show -- and the genre:
"Isn't reality TV great? Fox is going to make a show out of people getting fired in the recession. Spike TV is going to "hunt" pirates with the U.S. Navy. And now comes disgraced former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich hoping to join the D-list cast of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here. "
"Every week someone new: Harry Reid selling blond hair dye door-to-door in Japan, Joy Behar going through vow-of-silence training in a Nepalese monastery, Jackie Mason presiding over six-party talks with puzzled North Koreans, Rahm Emanuel in %&*$# vulgarity therapy, Billy Mays giving a sermon, Katie Couric doing a serious political interview, Rep. Ron Paul at a Las Vegas craps table with someone else's money. You get the idea."
"I, for one, could not be happier with this news. The guy has zero chance of jumpstarting his political career once again, so why not send him into a jungle with a series of has-beens? Better yet, instead of jail time, why not make Blago stay down in Costa Rica with Z-list celebs for the duration of his pending sentence? I'd say a few days with the Verne Troyers of the world is worse than several years in the penitentiary."
NBC's Zach Christman probably sums it up best.
"If the Letterman episode Blago appeared on was any indication, I'm a Celebrity is sure to be a guilty pleasure we won't be able to turn off."