It appears that last night's season finale of "Sarah Palin's Alaska" may have been the last episode TLC viewers will get to enjoy/scorn.
According to Entertainment Weekly
, TLC has canceled the hit reality series, saying that the show's producer, Mark Burnett, has no plans to return to Wasilla to shoot with Palin for another season.*
Despite the show's poor critical reception from the moment it was announced, it did remarkably well for TLC. The premiere brought in more than 5 million viewers — a record for the network — and remained fairly steady with 2.6 million to 3.5 million viewers for the remainder of the seven episodes.
Of course, if TLC had renewed the series, it would have lead to speculation that Palin would most likely not be running for president
— especially with open season for Republican presidential hopefuls kicking off later this year. If the former Alaska governor had decided to run while the show was airing, TLC would have had to rename the show something more akin to "Sarah Palin's Campaign Trail."
But I think it's premature to assume that we'll never see a Palin-branded reality series again. Should she run and not win the presidency, don't be surprised if the network approaches the family for another go on television. She has proven that there's interest in her life outside of politics, and TLC would love to see those ratings again.
* Update: TMZ is reporting
that network sources say the decision is all Palin's — and that nothing has been decided. No surprise here, but it all comes down to choosing a huge payday with a second season or a run at the White House. I guess we'll see which one is more important to the 46-year-old shortly.