VP candidate introduced Alaskan sled race

Making cable nonfiction programming stand out amid the fall hubbub is always tough, but the Discovery Channel seems to have lucked into a nice little hook for the Oct. 14 premiere of its six-part series “Toughest Race on Earth: Iditarod.”

Caught on camera introducing the 1,150-mile sled-dog race from Anchorage to Nome is none other than Alaska’s hottest celebrity: VP candidate Sarah Palin.

“This is Alaska’s Super Bowl, and of course Sarah Palin was there,” says a Discovery spokeswoman. “This was, of course, back in March before she was a candidate for vice president.”

Discovery wouldn’t say whether it’ll attempt to capitalize on Palin’s swift ascendance to promote the show. But with other Discovery programming based in nearby northern environs — the channel’s “Deadliest Catch,” for example, is set on the Bering Sea — having a little pop-culture buzz on Alaska right now can only help ratings.

“Alaska’s usually not on anybody’s mind, but this puts it on a world stage,” says the rep.

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