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The judge is a critic, cancels Blagojevich's TV show before the pilot

April 21, 2009 |  9:16 pm

Former Democratic Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich

In the reality show world that has become the life of former Democratic Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a federal judge has canceled the season before NBC even made the pilot.

It's a huge surprise too.

As The Ticket previously reported here, all the ex-governor wanted to do was get his passport back from the FBI and go to Central America to make an NBC-TV reality show about celebrities trying to get out of Central America. Pretty simple premise.

The commonsense solution to that predicament is not to go in the first place.

And that's exactly what Judge James Zagel decided he preferred too. "Bad idea" were his exact words.

As nice, peaceful and law-abiding a place as Central America is, the thought crossed the Chicago judge's mind that an elected Illinois politician out of the Chicago Democratic machine smart enough to allegedly talk openly on the telephone about auctioning off Barack Obama's old Senate seat three years after the governor knew full well that the FBI was trailing and tailing him and who faces 16 counts and up to 30 years in prison might just decide that he actually didn't really want to escape from Costa Rica.

And, NBC aside, Blagojevich might decide he'd rather escape to that place.

Blagojevich's lawyers said NBC had offered to pay two security guards to watch the accused at all times, and the judge remarked on their absence of authority in a foreign country.

The ex-gov could have earned $123,280 had viewers not voted him off for all 12 episodes. "It's not my first choice," B-Rod said, "but it's a living."

The judge suggested the politician could make a living doing something else and needed to involve himself in the details of federal charges. Blago said he would be intimately involved in his legal defense. "I'm going to be very active," he said. "I know a lot of things about me."

The next show, er, hearing is May 1 to decide if the ex-governor can use his $2-million campaign fund to cover legal expenses.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Associated Press