The partnership may seem like something out of a fiction novel, but Sarah Palin's nature reality television series has found a buyer in Discovery.
Variety is reporting that A&E Networks has dropped out of the bidding race for "Sarah Palin's Alaska" — leaving Discovery Communications as the leading interested party. The series will reportedly feature Palin taking viewers on a tour of the natural wonders of the state; said to be shot in high-definition and in the style of Discovery's other successful nature docs like Life and Planet Earth.
Such programming won't come cheap. Palin and partner/producer Mark Burnett are reportedly looking to score almost $1 million per episode. If Discovery does bite, the series would be become one of the most expensive nature docs ever produced.
Discovery hasn't even made the announcement yet, but criticism of the apparent acquisition has been heavy. Sarah Palin's environmental record was lacking during her run as governor — especially as it pertained to shooting wolves from helicopters or fighting the federal government over endangered species protection for beluga whales.
The network is looking to score big ratings from Palin's supporters — but they'll also be polarizing others who know her record on the environment and can clearly see the dollar signs through the slickly produced content. It will be interesting to see how Palin approaches what's sure to be a carefully watched close-up of her home state — and a well-known persona.
And speaking of ratings, Discovery scored big with its new series, Life — drawing in an estimated 33.8 million viewers for its premiere on seven cable networks. Those numbers, which averaged some 9.4 million at any given moment during the two-hour debut, were good enough to qualify it as the best opening on the network in more than a decade.
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