Sarah Palin pitching TV show about Alaska

Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin addresses attendees at the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010. (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)

March 5, 2010 8:05:59 AM PST
Producer Mark Burnett said Thursday he is pitching a series to television networks that would be about Alaska seen through the eyes of its most famous resident, Sarah Palin. Palin and Burnett have been meeting this week to talk about the idea with executives at ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox, according to three broadcast executives, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the networks don't publicly discuss story pitches.

Burnett, one of TV's busiest producers best known for his "Survivor" series on CBS, said he approached the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate with the idea. It will be shot in the style of Discovery's "Planet Earth" show, feasting on the natural beauty of the state where Palin was governor.

"What it's not is a reality show following her around, getting up in the morning or her family and all the salacious stuff," he said.

Palin will visit commercial fishing boats and tour either coal or gold mines and other spots unique to her state. "It's being in and experiencing the great charm and beauty of Alaska with Sarah Palin," he said.

The former governor is such a ratings magnet that the series should draw interest from broadcast and cable networks, he said.

Her state is already the setting for one of cable TV's most popular series, "Deadliest Catch." The Discovery Channel series follows fishermen trying to make their living in the forbidding waters off Alaska. While the History channel's "Ice Road Truckers" isn't fully shot in Alaska, that series' success also shows viewers' interest in dealing with difficult climates and terrains.

Palin has been busy on TV in recent months, having signed on as an analyst for the Fox News Channel.

On Tuesday she visited NBC's "Tonight" show for the second night of Jay Leno's second run, helping him to a ratings victory over Palin's nemesis, David Letterman. "Tonight" was seen by 5.8 million people that night, and achieved the same rating among young viewers as Leno's first show back the night before, according to the Nielsen Co.


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