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Image: Fred Thompson
Justin Sullivan  /  Getty Images
Actor and former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson speaks at the Republican National Convention on Sept. 2 in St. Paul, Minnesota.
updated 11/20/2008 10:52:53 PM ET 2008-11-21T03:52:53

Former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson is going back to the small screen after his foray into Republican presidential politics over the last year.

Thompson, best known on TV for his role as a gruff district attorney on NBC’s “Law & Order,” dropped out of the crowded GOP primaries in January after his much-anticipated presidential campaign failed to gain strong support among conservatives.

He campaigned heavily for eventual nominee John McCain, and had recently tried to gain support to be in charge of the Republican National Committee.

But his former finance chairman, B.C. “Scooter” Clippard, said Thompson told him Wednesday that he was returning to acting and dropping his RNC bid.

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“He seriously considered it, but he called and said that it was not in the cards,” Clippard said.

Clippard said he did not know which television programs might be interested in Thompson.

“He has some wonderful opportunities back in the television market that probably financially far outweigh being chair of the RNC,” Clippard said.

Slideshow: Celebrity Sightings Thompson, 66, was a lawyer and character actor before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 1993, only to turn his back on politics after his first full term in favor of a full-time acting career in 2002.

Thompson began his acting career playing himself in the film “Marie” in 1985, about a high-profile legal case he handled in Tennessee.

And while his presidential ambitions didn’t pan out, at least Thompson got to play the commander in chief as Ulysses S. Grant in the 2007 TV movie “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.”

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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