As long as Arnold Schwarzenegger is running for governor of California broadcast networks will have to be careful that they resist the temptation to run "Terminator" marathons. Federal Communications Commission rules regarding equal time will apply to Schwarzenegger as well at as the other 200-plus candidates in the Oct. 7 recall.
According to media reports, while ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, The WB and UPN must abide by the FCC equal time provisions and thus give equal air time to all candidates free of charge, cable networks like HBO or USA are exempt. On the other hand, a gray area exists with local cable TV operators like Cox Communications, Inc. which may be subject to complaints if they dedicate a day to Schwarzenegger's early works like "The Jayne Mansfield Story" or "Scavenger Hunt."
There are several more gray areas to be discussed. Certainly airing "True Lies" on CBS might give Schwarzenegger a campaign boost, but could CBS compensate by also airing the excruciating "Junior?" How about midnight screenings of "Christmas in Connecticut," one of the actor's rare visits behind the camera?
And if FOX airs "Jingle all the Way," does that mean that the network also has to show "Gallagher: Melon Crazy," the Gary Coleman vehicle "The Kid with the 200 I.Q.," "The People vs. Larry Flynt," the collected works of porn star Mary Carey or "Casper," featuring Don Novello as Father Guido Sarducci?
Frankly, the mind boggles.