Sarah Palin in primetime? Well, it would depend on what it is. And so far, at least via the description of the series being pitched by Palin and Mark Burnett (as reported by Entertainment Weekly, which broke the story), it seems unlikely.
Burnett does know a thing or two about crafting a TV home for a polarizing figure (see: Martha Stewart). But this show appears to be less about Palin, and more about Alaska. Zzzzz.
Here’s how EW describes the pitch: “a TV docudrama about Alaska. One source called it a ‘planet-Earth type look’ at Palin’s home state.” Palin and Burnett are meeting with all the networks — including the network that Palin rebranded “Fox Hollywood” (because what’s more degrading than calling something “Hollywood”?!) after being skewered by “Family Guy.”
The pitch alone wouldn’t have made it past a network switchboard operator. But this is Palin, and even if she were pitching a cooking show starring First Dude Todd Palin, network execs would take the meeting. (Actually, that sounds a lot more exciting than a ‘Planet Earth’ style doc about Alaska. Even if you can see Russia.)
Reps and producers frequently trot out big-name newsmakers for meet and greets. And net execs gladly take those meetings — if, for nothing else, to meet said newsmaker. No matter what you think of Sarah Palin’s politics, she’s a fascinating character — and someone you’d jump at a chance to chat with.
“Of course you meet with someone like that — even if you’re looking just to take a gag photo for your Christmas card,” quipped one network insider.
This is reminiscent of former President Bill Clinton’s two 2002 flirtations with TV. Like Palin, he met with the networks. And like Palin, he aligned himself with a big time TV entity (in one case, King World). But ultimately, nothing came from it (other than a brief “Point/Counterpoint” tenure with Bob Dole on “60 Minutes”).
It still seems inevitable that Palin will still eventually host some sort of show on her own — and that may be where Burnett eventually steers her (unless 2012 aspirations get in the way).
Palin has already met with ABC, CBS and Fox, and meets with NBC today.