Last week Discovery had its annual sales conference for ad buyers for all of its 13 networks. The presentation showcases all of their new shows across the different networks. That night the presentation was on Sarah Palin’s Alaska.
Our source says “the whole thing [was] comical.” Apparently the ad buyers were not impressed. This Discovery insider said, “When the promo was over, people (employees and buyers) were rolling their eyes, snickering, and even laughing. People were laughing and it’s not even a comedy. No one took it seriously.”
This person was concerned that given the lack of interest from ad buyers that Discovery would have to dump the show to “a crappy time slot” to cut its losses. They added, “Bottom line everyone thought it was a new all time low for Discovery. My guess is the show is going to tank big time.”
Remember Discovery is paying Sarah Palin $250,000 an episode for this series. There are eight episodes, so she will be clearing $2 million for this possible disaster (TLC will be spending between $800,000 to $1.2 million per episode for the whole production). The ratings for her new show on Fox News Channel were already low (she couldn’t even hold on to Greta Van Susteren’s audience). Imagine how much worse she’ll do on TLC where the audience presumably wants to learn something, i.e. the exact opposite of what Sarah Palin is known for. What’s next for TLC, George Bush’s Ranch?
When are people going to finally realize that just attaching a “big name” to a project doesn’t mean it’s going to work? The person hosting the show has to have some credibility in the field. I’m not sure Sarah Palin has credibility in any field.
Many people would argue that Palin did great ecological damage to Alaska and would like to do more by drilling all over it. So, getting her to host a show about the natural beauty of Alaska is a bit like getting Jeffrey Dahmer to host a cooking show for the Food Network. Yes, there’s a big name attached, but is that the name you really want associated with your brand?