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The Law & Order Candidate

It was a good week for Fred Thompson fans, who put together "the closest thing to a draft" in recent memory to get their candidate into the presidential race, according to Thompson campaign manager Bill Lacy's statement this week on the former Tennessee senator's intention to run.

But what about Fred Thompson's other fans? The ones who like him where he is, in the New York District Attorney's office as Arthur Branch on NBC's "Law & Order." It wasn't as good a week for them.

Branch's character will disappear from NBC begnning tomorrow, a necessary nod to the federal equal time rule which mandates that television stations must allow for matching airtime for all legally qualified political candidates.

Luckily for Law & Order fans, the cable network TNT is not changing its extensive schedule of Law & Order reruns. Its web site boasts a fan page "I Love Law & Order"--"pages for those of you who can honestly say 'I love Law & Order""--and the network will not be disappointing those diehard criminal justice/police procedural viewers. According to next week's TNT schedule, where some days offer at least seven hours of Law & Order reruns, many of those episodes feature Fred Thompson as Arthur Branch.

But Thompson most likely won't be off NBC's air entirely next week.
As of yesterday, NBC officials said he was tentatively booked on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Wed., Sept. 5

--Rachel Dry

By Washington Post editors  |  August 31, 2007; 5:55 PM ET
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