Palin’s new show scores highest ratings of any TLC launch

If you’re surprised, you didn’t pay enough attention to her book sales. Being “polarizing,” to borrow the media’s favorite adjective for her, may be problematic for a politician but it’s a fantastic asset for political entertainment. How many liberals tune into Rush each day for the cathartic fun of beating their little fists against the desk in frustration? Same with Sarahcuda, I think — she’s got her very devoted base, some swath of curiosity-seekers tuning in to see what the fuss is about after all the pre- and post-midterm buzz, and of course her equally devoted liberal anti-base, who want to tune in to make fun of their living room furniture or Willow’s hair or whatever the hell it is the left is obsessing about today. In fact, the show’s website actually promoted the idea of lefty/righty viewing parties organized around the concept “We Can All Agree to Watch.” Because, if you’re a Sarah Palin fan, what could be more fun than sitting on the couch watching next to some Trig Truther who’s hunting for subtle clues as to whether she really knows how to fish and shoot?

TLC’s “SARAH PALIN’S ALASKA” DELIVERS 4.96M TOTAL VIEWERS

The premiere of TLC’s Sarah Palin’s Alaska (Sun, Nov 14, 9-10 p.m. ET/PT) garnered a 3.5 HH rating and delivered 4.96M P2+, 1.8M P25-54, 1.1M W25-54, 1.6M P18-49, 4.7M P18+ and 3.9M P35+, according to Nielsen fast nationals.

Sarah Palin’s Alaska is the #1 program launch in TLC history among HH and P2+ delivery, besting the What Not to Wear series launch in 2003, and posting triple digit rating and delivery gains vs. the prior six week prime average, and the 4Q10 to-date prime average.

It’s the most highly rated debut in TLC history but not the most highly rated episode of any show. That was the Jon & Kate separation episode, which, I must confess, was fantastic television. Palinistas are celebrating the news of the big launch, but here’s what I’m wondering: If the ratings stay high for the rest of the season, aren’t they going to end up throwing a cargo-hold of money at her to do another season? Which … would put a crimp in the Sarah 2012 plans, no? It’s long been rumored that Huckabee might sit out the next election in favor of sticking with his show and making some money, and needless to say, she can demand a lot more pay-wise than he can. Why not spend a few years making eight figures and then go for the gold in 2016 when she won’t have to face an incumbent?

Between this and having coined the new word of the year, I’d say she’s officially having a big day. Exit question: Is Sarahcuda really only at 15 percent in Alaska among the field of GOP presidential contenders? C’mon.