Is Fred Thompson running for president?
NBC thinks so.
Asked if the thesp and former Tennessee senator would be back as district attorney Arthur Branch in the next season of “Law & Order,” NBC Entertainment prexy Kevin Reilly all but ruled it out.
“It’s highly likely that Fred will not be back with the show,” Reilly said.
Whether or not Thompson ultimately decides to run for the Republican nomination for president, he’s clearing his fall schedule. NBC will be pressing skeins like “Law & Order” to churn out episodes early in the event of a writers guild strike.
Thompson’s plans for his future with the show are seen by many as one of the clearest indicators of his political intentions this fall.
But Thompson’s running for president and appearing in the series could put NBC in a quandary, as far as Federal Election Commission rules for equal time for candidates.
When asked, Reilly said he felt certain it was a quandary the network would not have to face. “Fred is going to be leaving the cast of the show — that’s clear.”
Thompson has said he’ll announce a decision early this summer.