‘Sarah Palin's Alaska’ = TLC's Biggest-Ever Debut

With 5 million viewers and a 3.5 rating, it bested the 2003 series launch of “What Not to Wear”

 

It sounds like the plot of a clumsy, preachy satire: Reality show star makes serious run for U.S. president. 

Reality keeps catching up with satire at an exponentially rapid rate.

Sunday's premiere of "Sarah Palin's Alaska" was the No. 1 program launch in TLC's history, earning the cable network nearly 5 million viewers and a 3.5 rating. The show bested the 2003 series launch of "What Not to Wear" and posted triple-digit ratings and delivery gains over the prior six-week average.

Read Also: Forget Sarah Palin's Alaska: 5 Political Reality Series We'd Like to See

Meanwhile Palin's daughter, Bristol, is still going strong on ABC's top-rated "Dancing with the Stars," and Palin still has her gig on Fox News. And then she still has that whole traveling-the-country-raising-money-and-writing-books-that-may-be-the-blueprint-for-a-presidential-platform thing going, too.

Is it dignified for a possible 2012 presidential nominee to appear on TLC, the same network that brought us Kate Gosselin? Maybe not. But it plays beautifully into Palin's anti-elitist persona; she doesn't care about ceremony – she just wants to trek around the backwoods (with a camera crew).

And viewers, apparently, want to see her.

Bill Clinton helped break down the wall between pop and political culture with his celebration of McDonald's and saxophone playing on "The Arsenio Hall Show" — and he's staying true to his not-too-self-serious image with a cameo in "The Hangover 2."

But sorry, Democrats: The dumbed-down chickens are coming home to roost.

Palin has torn down whatever remained of the all between political pomp and pop culture the way a mama grizzly who smells a stick of gum in the glove box might tear apart a Volkswagen Jetta.

This is how the worlds of politics and television work now. No satire. No joke.