The Corner

Could TNT Make Fred Thompson President?

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter ) – Cable network TNT is sticking by “Law & Order” despite co-star Fred Thompson’s announcement Thursday that he will officially declare his presidential candidacy next week.

“TNT has no plans to alter its programming schedule,” a spokesperson for the cable network said.

FCC regulations mandate that TV stations must provide a political candidate with airtime equal to that of his or her opponents beyond the coverage of news events, which includes entertainment programs. However, the rule has never been imposed on cable networks, though select channels in the past have avoided airing films featuring actors-turned-candidates including Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“Law & Order” repeats comprise a significant portion of TNT’s schedule. It aired nine times on Thursday alone within a 24-hour period.

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