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Network puzzle: Whether to air Obama prime-time talk

President Barack Obama waves as he boards Air

President Barack Obama waves as he boards Air Force One. Photo Credit: AFP

President Barack Obama is expected to seek another chunk of prime time next Wednesday when he addresses a joint session of Congress, right at the outset of the new fall season. The night's especially critical for Fox - which spurned the president in prime time last April - because it's launching a new season of "So You Think You Can Dance" along with the launch of the highly anticipated musical dramedy, "Glee."

The issue of pre-emption has become a prickly one for the networks. A Hollywood Reporter story in May said that the most prime-time-pre-emption-happy chief executive in history had cost the broadcast networks a "cumulative" $30 million in lost ad revenue due to three prime time pre-emptions up to that point since he entering office.

Fox executives declined to comment last night on whether it would stick with regular programing in lieu of the president's address next week. Fox has the option of sending viewers to its sister network, Fox News Channel.

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