'Sarah Palin's Alaska' gets network deal

8:18 AM PST 03/25/2010 by James Hibberd, AP

Eight episodes ordered by producer Mark Burnett

Kate Gosselin, "Cake Boss" and now ... Sarah Palin.

Discovery Communications has finished its deal with the former Alaska governor for her reality show, with the company planning to air the series on its TLC channel.

"Discovery Communications is so excited to help Sarah Palin tell the story of Alaska, and to have a great documentary filmmaker in Mark Burnett helping to reveal Alaska's powerful beauty as it has never been filmed, and as told by one of the state's proudest daughters," said Peter Liguori, COO, Discovery Communications.

Eight episodes of "Sarah Palin's Alaska" have been ordered from producer Burnett, with a price tag of just under $1 million per episode.

"Our family enjoys Discovery's networks," Palin said. "I look forward to working with Mark to bring the wonder and majesty of Alaska to all Americans."

As first reported in THR,
Discovery Communications edged out rival A&E Networks for the show, with the remaining question being which of its suite of channels would air the program. Discovery Channel is considered the flagship brand, and certainly a home for travelogues, though the company felt Palin's appeal was better suited toward mom-friendly TLC. The network is best known for "Jon & Kate Plus Eight," and also airs "Cake Boss," "Little People, Big World" and "American Chopper."

"TLC is grounded in great storytelling, strong characters, and passionate audiences drawn to extraordinary people doing extraordinary things," said Eileen O'Neill, president and general manager, TLC. "We are confident 'Sarah Palin's Alaska' will be another compelling television event."

The deal reunites the company with Mark Burnett Productions, which co-produced "Survivor" precursor "Eco-Challenge" for Discovery Channel in the 1990s.

"With a dynamic personality that has captivated millions, I can't think of anyone more compelling than Sarah Palin to tell the story of Alaska," said Burnett. "I'm thrilled to reunite with Discovery on this project, which brings together one of the most fascinating figures of our time with one of the most wondrous places on earth."
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