The news that Sarah Palin is pitching a network "docudrama" with reality TV pioneer Mark Burnett ("Survivor") sent excited ripples through media circles — even after Burnett clarified that Palin's proposal wouldn't be "salacious." The pitch, he says, is about "experiencing the great charm and beauty of Alaska with Sarah Palin." Can even Palin pull off a prime-time nature show? (Watch Sarah Palin's stand-up routine on "The Tonight Show")
The show's a shoo-in...for cable: There's no network-worthy "big idea or hook" in a series about Palin showcasing her home state, says Josef Adalian in The Wrap. ABC's already passed and other networks probably will, too. That said, Discovery or the Travel Channel might leap at a Palin-branded "nature-themed series" — if they can afford the Palin-Burnett price tag.
"Palin and Burnett reality show: One network passes"
Palin can sell anything: Burnett knows what he's doing, says Hollywood Reporter managing editor Matthew Belloni, on the ABC News website. "The fact that [he's] shopping this show to broadcast networks, rather than cable networks, [suggests] there's a lot of interest in her." Palin's now "an A-list personality" who can command "A-list money."
"Going reality: Palin on own TV series?"
The show needs more Palin, less nature: A Palin TV show is "inevitable," says Michael Schneider in Variety, but it won't be this one. Burnett's been great at getting people to tune in for "polarizing" figures like Martha Stewart and Donald Trump, but "this show appears to be less about Palin, and more about Alaska. Zzzzz."
"Are the networks really interested in a Sarah Palin show?"
Palin could pull this off, but shouldn't: America won't care if her co-stars are glaciers, says Matthew Continetti at The Weekly Standard. But even if the show helps her fulfill her resignation promise to promote Alaska, she certainly doesn't need more "overexposure" or suggestions that she's "cashing in."
"2012 watch: A Palin reality show?"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- Why torture doesn't work: A definitive guide
- Hey, bosses: Stop giving bonuses to your employees
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- You should be furious about Hollywood's gutless retreat on The Interview
- Why the Sony hack changes everything
- Capitalism isn't a cure-all for Cuba
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- One girl's extraordinarily wild world
Subscribe to the Week