From Mrs. Campaignspot, a theory on why we’re hearing Thompson is in starting in September, pointing to this Washington Post story:
Anyway, this time it was the Fred Thompson question. [Law & Order creator Dick] Wolf read the statement, presumably prepared with the approval of his bosses at NBC Universal:
The equal-time requirement applies when the person has legally qualified as an official candidate in a relevant state — for example, having his or her name formally approved to be on a state’s primary ballot — not merely when he/she declares his or her intent to run. If Fred Thompson formally announces his intention to run for president, NBC will not schedule any further repeats of “Law & Order” featuring Mr. Thompson beyond those already scheduled, which conclude on Saturday, September 1st.
But what about Thompson’s “Law & Order” repeats on cable? Wolf read:
The equal-time requirement does not apply to programming on national cable networks, including cable runs of the “Law & Order” programs.
Would Thompson hold off just to avoid creating a headache for his old boss, Dick Wolf? I have two competing instincts – one is to be skeptical of the importance of that factor compared to many others (media attention, staff preparation, momentum, organization)… the other instinct is to tell my wife she’s right.