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Surprise: Sarah Palin's Ratings Rise

Sarah Palin's fortunes are improving on TLC.

Ratings for the politician's Alaska-based reality show grew for her third episode, reversing course after dropping sharply last week.

Sarah Palin's Alaska delivered 3.5 million viewers Sunday night, rising 17% at the conclusion of the holiday weekend.

Normally when ratings go down double digits for a second episode, the third outing generally falls at least a little, but not in this case. Palin may also have benefited from some weaker competition (ABC had the Country Music Awards the previous week). Even so, this is great news for TLC.

The Alaska episode to watch will be in two weeks, when Kate Gosselin guest stars.

News wasn't all positive for freshman Sunday shows: The second week of History's Top Gear dropped 32% to only 1.3 million viewers.