Television Listings

Ex-governor Blagojevich among TV's Celebrity Apprentices

 Then Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich waves to the media after he addressed questions about charges brought against him of conspiracy and bribery, including allegations he was seeking to benefit financially from his appointment of a successor to the U.S. Senate seat that was vacated by President-elect Barack Obama during a news conference in Chicago, in this December 19, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes/Files - Reuters
Then Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich waves to the media after he addressed questions about charges brought against him of conspiracy and bribery, including allegations he was seeking to benefit financially from his appointment of a successor to the U.S. Senate seat that was vacated by President-elect Barack Obama during a news conference in Chicago, in this December 19, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes/Files
— image credit: Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich will be among stars taking on real estate mogul Donald Trump in the boardroom in the next "Celebrity Apprentice" television contest in March, NBC on Monday.

Blagojevich, who was forced to resign and is awaiting trial in Chicago on charges of trying to sell President Barack Obama's former U.S. Senate seat, will face off against singer Cyndi Lauper, British TV reality judge Sharon Osbourne and 11 other celebrities in the third season of the show.

The celebrities will all be competing for charities close to their hearts as they take part in women vs men business-oriented tasks around New York and battle to avoid the famous words "You're fired!" from Trump.

Blagojevich, who has pleaded innocent to all charges, has a tentative trial date of June 2010. He was banned by a judge last year from traveling to Costa Rica to take part in another NBC reality show "I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!" because of potential flight risk. His wife Patti took his spot instead, saying she was doing it to earn money for her family.

The Chicago judge handling Blagojevich's criminal case said in an October hearing that he was concerned the former governor would make comments on "The Celebrity Apprentice" that could influence potential jurors or come back to haunt him during the trial.

Other celebrities competing in the show starting March 14 include former baseball player Darryl Strawberry, rock singer Bret Michaels of the band Poison, retired Olympic sprinter Michael Johnson, Victoria's Secret model Selita Ebanks and wrestler and model Maria Kanellis.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

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