Backstory of how Rod Blagojevich documentary 'Being Blago' came about

Rod Blagojevich documentary reflects years of I-Team coverage, months of unprecedented access

ByChuck Goudie and Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel and Ross Weidner WLS logo
Saturday, November 6, 2021
Backstory of how Rod Blagojevich documentary came about
Rod Blagojevich documentary "Being Blago" started with a phone call asking him to do an interview. It ended with four parts on Hulu.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- An unprecedented inside-look at the fast rise and sharp fall of Rod Blagojevich premiered Friday on our Disney streaming partner Hulu.

The docuseries "Being Blago" gives viewers a candid and inside look at the former Illinois governor's life before and after a federal conviction that cost him his political career and sent him to prison.

Rod Blagojevich documentary 'Being Blago' | Watch full episodes featuring ex-Illinois governor

ABC7's documentary on the life and times of Blagojevich relives years of I-Team coverage, and features a new interview with investigative reporter Chuck Goudie and months of behind the scenes access.

It started with a phone call asking him to do an interview. It ended with four parts on Hulu.


Being Blago

This is a story about purpose and power, and the search for redemption when you lose both... even if it could cost you everything you say you love.

Blagojevich's Hulu moment actually has its roots in 2004 at the Democratic convention in Boston.

The I-Team first exposed how then-governor Blagojevich had state police cars driven cross-country so he could receive Secret Service-style protection. Sometimes, as we found in California, he was using Illinois cars on personal occasions, even blockading intersections so Blagojevich could whiz through.

So began a relationship that continued through his trials, imprisonment and Trump release, culminating in our phone call last May, requesting a sit-down interview for a possible in-depth look at his legacy.

Hear from the filmmakers of the 'Being Blago' documentary

"Everybody we talked to has said Rod is one of the greatest campaigners you will ever meet," said ABC 7's Matt Knutson. "That, I don't think he can give up."

Knutson and Justin Allen produced and directed "Being Blago."

"It's also an interesting story when it comes to having those who, who have done public wrong," Allen told the I-Team.

"It's a tough watch if you're Rod Blagojevich, in my opinion, but I think there's some redemption and strength that is conveyed in the following episodes," said Knutson.

"I think we saw a few cracks occasionally, in emotional moments," Allen said. "The start of the third episode is him recounting his last day at home and that felt like a very honest human, an actual honest human moment."

"He talks about the nightmares he has he had in prison, and the nightmares he has now," Knutson added.

"He talks at length about feeling like an underdog and feeling like he doesn't belong and feeling like he's, he's going to be found out," Allen said.

After months of camera access to the Blagojevich household, "Being Blago" is now being streamed on our partner site Hulu. The ex-governor told our producers that he plans to watch it Friday night.

The real question is what happens tomorrow and the next day. Only a federal court case stands in the way of him running for Illinois office again. In our interview he said he's not interested in running for anything but that was before the acclaim of a Hulu series.

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