Last week, the media was falling over itself to announce that TLC's 'Sarah Palin's Alaska' had scored record ratings for the channel. What did it mean? Was it the forebear of her presidential chances? Was it an tipping point of America's political landscape? Well....No.
More interesting is the fact that the media seems mute (or more likely distracted by the next shiny thing) to have noticed that, SHOCK!, the show lost a large chunk of it's audience on the second week,
and the majority of the key 18-49 demographic that advertisers love. It is, after all, a media curiosity....many first nighters tuned in to see what Palin would do. Now they know and many viewers moved on, their ironic viewing satisfied. The show is still a success; nearly 3 million viewers tuned in. But lets' put that in perspective:
Jon & Kate split: 10.6 Million viewers
Monk (final ep.): 9.4 Million viewers
iCarly guesting Jack Black: 5 Million viewers
Eagles/Redskins game: 15 Million viewers
T.U.F.F. Puppy: 3.4 Million viewers
Walking Dead (4th ep.): 4.7 million viewers
In other words, Palin's show has fallen back into a respectably good ratings point for a TLC show, but weak against network and far weaker than Spongebob or iCarly. IN FACT, she didn't make the top-25 for the week...a top 25 that included THREE RERUN iCarly movies, three showings of WWE wrestling, two episodes of T.U.F.F. Puppy and some Disney and SpongeBob shows.
Palin's show is just another travelogue. It looks well filmed and generally apolitical. It's also no bellwether of American politics or the national character. It's just a TV show.