NBC Entertainment’s Kevin Reilly said today it’s “highly unlikely” potential Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson will return to Law & Order next season. ”It’s pretty clear that Fred is going to be leaving the cast of the show no matter what,” Reilly said at a news conference on NBC’s fall schedule. But I’ve been checking, and Thompson has yet to inform ABC Radio Networks about his plans to run or not run. The ex-U.S. Senator from Tennessee is the official substitute for the 83-year-old Harvey and obvious successor to the unabashed shill who in 2000 signed a 10-year, $100 million contract with ABC Radio Networks because he brings in the ad bucks. Thompson would have to give up the gig if he runs for president because federal campaign law requires broadcasters to give all candidates equal time on the airwaves. That rule also could apply to entertainment programs like Law & Order, meaning stations that run the show would be required to give other GOP candidates a like amount of prime-time exposure — a prohibitive expense. Even if Thompson didn’t decide right away to exit the show, he’d probably be pushed before he jumped because of this. Meanwhile, that other possible contender also presenting himself as the “only true conservative”, Newt Gingrich, told Good Morning America this AM there was a “great possibility” that he would run for president. let the games begin.
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