Fred Thompson's plans to announce his candidacy for the 2008 presidential race once again brings up the question of "equal time" provisions that are in place to assure a single candidate is not given more airtime on television than anyone else.
Thompson, a Republican and former Tennessee senator, played DA Arthur Branch on NBC's Law and Order for five seasons. NBC, in keeping with the provisions, has stopped airing episodes that feature Thompson, but TNT, whose schedule overflows with Law and Order reruns, will keep airing the Thompson episodes.
Why? Because of the FCC's equal time rules, says The Washington Post. It's a fairness policy that the governing body has had for decades; it ensures that every candidate in a political race has an equal opportunity to promote themselves. The rule doesn't apply to newscasts, interview shows, and news-oriented events (like debates, I'd imagine), but it definitely applies to entertainment shows like L&O. This isn't a unique circumstance; the article cites Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronald Reagan as two candidates whose movies were pulled from TV during their political campaigns.
TV Squad Hot Topics
Most Popular Articles
From Our Partners
- So You Think You Can Dance Recap: Who Should Win the Season 11 Title?
- Mindy Project Casts Shonda Rhimes (Yes, Shonda Rhimes) to Play [Spoiler]
- Arrow Recasts Oliver's Blade-Wielding Season 3 Mentor
- Mean Girls' Daniel Franzese Lands Looking Role — Who Will He Court?
- Ratings: Tyrant Ends on Down Note, Final Chelsea Hits 2-Year High, PLL Up
- More From TVLine
- Enjoy Khloe Kardashian's Epic Pre-Kimye-Wedding Hangover
- Hello Kitty Revealed Not To Be A Cat and Apparently Nothing Is True Anymore
- Meet David Muir, the Man Taking Over ABC's 'World News'
- 'Project Runway''s Christian Siriano on His Much-Praised Emmy Designs
- A Winning Couple! Aaron Paul's Wife Reacts to Emmy Speech, Talks 'Kind Campaign'
- More From ET