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Variety‘s Mike Schneider writes that cable networks are close to finalizing their bids for Sarah Palin’s Alaska-centric TV series.

A&E and Discovery are considered the front runners, and the series could command $1 million per episode, although it’s unclear what the breakdown would be on production costs, partners, etc. 

As Mike points out, the series itself is nonpolitical, and is like a travelogue through Alaska and its characters, with the persona of Palin as the big draw. But the bigger prospect is that it may groom her for a bigger TV gig come 2011, when Oprah Winfrey steps away from the daytime scene and there’s expected to be a gold rush  of prospects seeking talk show riches.