The blogosphere went nuts when news broke of TLC's forthcoming eight-part documentary Sarah Palin's Alaska, not only because of the obvious widespread fascination with the self-termed Mama Grizzly, but also because of the show's price tag: over $1 million per episode. This year was a huge one for Palin's personal brand, but whether or not that's a good sign for her political future, the show has been widely mocked, and was ultimately a mistake for Discovery, which owns TLC. Ratings have been a roller coaster. The premiere nabbed 5 million viewers, which was a triumph, but the second episode experienced a whopping 40% drop in viewership.
A guest appearance by fellow TLC star Kate Gosselin and her brood provided a slight boost to ratings. With the final episode still set to air, TLC might have some kind of a last-minute surprise that will delight audiences. But at this point, the show has yet to top Palin's ultimate reality series: her interviews with Katie Couric during the presidential election.