ABC misses out on Obama ad tonight

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Boy, you know someone at ABC is getting a drubbing. That’s because tonight every major network will be airing a half-hour infomercial by the man of the hour, Barack Obama — every major network except ABC, that is.

On ABC, you can watch “Pushing Daisies.” Which is, really, a great show. Or, on the CW, there’s “America’s Top Model,” to which we could probably draw some similarities to the campaign …

Even ABC News reports the story with a bit of parenthetical tongue in cheek: “Tonight on Fox, NBC, CBS, Univision, MSNBC, BET and elsewhere (but not ABC — feel free to check out the new season of “Pushing Daisies”!) Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., will air the first presidential candidate 30-minute infomercial ever since H. Ross Perot took to the airwaves with his famous charts in 1992.”

How did ABC get left out? Here’s apparently what happened …

According to the AP: “Attempting to protect its struggling Wednesday lineup, ABC tried to reach an agreement with the Obama campaign to air the commercial on a different night, according to people familiar with the discussions who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly.

“ABC had a change of heart, but by the time it decided to make the 7 p.m. Wednesday slot available for the Democratic presidential candidate’s spot, his campaign had already finalized the ad buy, the people said.”

An ABC spokesman tells the Washington Post: “We were in discussion with the Obama campaign and had offered them the half-hour, but at this point that’s not happening and ‘Pushing Daisies’ will air in its regular time slot. Wednesday you have a choice — get political with the other networks or” watch a new episode of “Pushing Daisies.”

At $1 million a pop, the 30-minute ad will appear on CBS, NBC and Fox, as well as Univision, BET, MSNBC and TV One. On Fox, the ad is pre-empting the restart of Game 5 of the World Series; Major League Baseball agreed to postpone the first pitch by about 15 minutes to enable the network to carry Obama’s program.

CNN turned it down, too. “We did not want to pre-empt our programming lineup with a 30-minute spot,” a CNN spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday. “We’d rather use our air to continue to cover the campaign, candidates and issues like we always do from all points of view with the best political team on television.”

The broadcast will present ”the specifics of Obama’s plans to turn the economy around and get the country back on track,” according to a statement from campaign spokesman Nick Shapiro.

Also, the primetime ad will contain a live segment near the end, according to Obama’s campaign. “The entire half hour is being fed live to various outlets from a site in Florida,” a source tells the Hollywood Reporter. “They’ll be feeding a tape for most of the broadcast and then a live portion at the end.”

Sen. McCain already has launched a new ad referring to and criticizing the special …

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