Sarah Palin announced in October that she would not run for president, leaving her free to focus on her media career. But the GOP kingmaker and Fox News contributor is having some trouble selling a follow up to the Mark Burnett-produced Sarah Palin’s Alaska, her TLC show that bowed in November 2010 to a record-breaking 5 million viewers.
The Hollywood Reporter has learned that Palin and Burnett are pitching another reality series, this one more focused on Palin’s husband Todd and his career as a championship snowmobile racer. But for now, TLC owner Discovery Communications has passed, say sources. And A&E Networks, which entered into a bidding war with Discovery for Sarah Palin’s Alaska, also is not interested.
So far, networks have balked at the steep asking price – Palin’s Alaska went for north of $1 million an episode and sources say Burnett and Palin are asking for a similar payday for the follow-up. Mark Burnett Productions did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Another obstacle is Palin’s waning status as a cultural lightning rod. The former Alaska governor, 47, burst onto the scene as the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate with a compelling personal storyline and outspoken conservatism that made her the darling of the right and a target of the left, helping her land a $1 million annual contract with Fox News.
But she has been largely under the radar since confirming that she would not seek the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, as press attention has shifted to frontrunners Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and the rest. Says one network insider, “I think it’s safe to say her time has passed.”