The Peacock may rethink having a presidential candidate appear on Saturday Night Live in the future. That comes after NBC reached an agreement with four campaigns to provide equal time on its network following Donald Trump’s appearance on SNL at the beginning of the month.
James Gilmore, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee and John Kasich will all appear on NBC affiliates in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina during primetime on November 27, the day after Thanksgiving, as well as November 28, including appearances on the sketch comedy show through free advertisement or other promotional video to total 12 minutes of air time a piece.
“We’re grateful to NBC for providing us additional opportunities to tell the people of New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Iowa more about how Sen. Graham is the only candidate in the race ready to be Commander-in-Chief on day one,” a rep for Graham’s campaign told the internet news site TheWrap.
Variety Magazine is also reporting that George Pataki is still in negotiations with NBC over air time.
The equal time stems from a federal regulations that requires equal broadcast time to any opposing candidate that requests it after the airing of one candidate. There are automatic exceptions — debates, news segments, documentary broadcasts — while entertainment programs and talk shows (such as Ben Carson’s appearance on The View when promoting his new book) are exempt on a case-by-case basis as determined by the Federal Communications Commission. The most public case of this happening previously was when Arnold Schwarzenegger ran for governor in California in 2003. Many broadcast and cable channels decided not to air the action movie star’s films during the campaign, with some not airing any of his films until his time in office ended in 2011.