Sarah Palin dipped her foot further into the Hollywood pool this week.
In addition to her appearance on ‘The Tonight Show,’ Palin is in talks with network executives, and with veteran reality show producer Mark Burnett (‘Survivor‘), to launch an unscripted series about Alaska.
Palin’s either a political genius or a woman who’s trying to get as much out of her fame as possible.
And she’s making good use of her time in Los Angeles. Sources say the former Alaska governor and Burnett met with Fox reality honcho Mark Darnell Wednesday, and also plans to visit CBS and Jeff Gaspin, chairman at NBC Universal. Palin and Burnett’s mission? To produce a “docudrama” about Palin’s home state.
At least one network is not interested in learning about the ‘Real World’ of Alaska. ABC has passed on the project, reports The Wrap, claiming it isn’t a good fit for them.
The news that Palin’s working with Burnett comes as no surprise. Since she shot to fame in 2008, Palin and her family have received endless hours of press, some of their own devising.
Palin lamented to Jay Leno this week that she wishes the media would respect her family’s privacy, as they do with other political offspring, like Chelsea Clinton. At the same time, Palin has allowed a tabloid’s cameras into her home. Then there’s a recent story claiming that she and her family descended “like locusts” and “cleaned out” a pre-Oscar gift suite, a luxury usually afforded to only Hollywood celebrities. And I’d be remiss in not mentioning Bristol Palin’s forthcoming appearance on ABC Family drama ‘The Secret Life of the American Teenager.’ Yes, despite a prudent fascination with the media, Palin and her family have officially become celebrities.
Does Sarah Palin Think She’s a Comedian? Watch the Clip:
This latest move with Mark Burnett seems like a perfect match. He’s given us ‘Survivor,’ ‘Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?‘ and the short-lived ‘Commando Nanny.’ She’s showed us how to fight wild wolves, taught us Africa’s a continent and raised awareness for family planning.
It’s tempting to describe this as a “reality show,” but sources told Entertainment Weekly’s Lynette Rice that Palin and Burnett are presenting a “Planet Earth-type look” at Alaska. And another insisted, “[This is] not a reality show of any sort, and not about her family… It is about the people, geography, wildlife and wonders of Alaska.” If that’s an accurate summation and if the show does focus on the environment, then perhaps Palin can both boost her reputation as a serious public figure, and build cred with environmentalists who see her as just a “drill,” baby. Even something similar to Discovery Channel’s ‘Alaska Experiment,’ which was a bit like ‘Survivor’ in Alaska and with a lower budget. But if there’s one tinge of garish flare, Palin could just as easily turn into a high-flying star to a has-been “also ran.”
There’s little doubt Palin’s looking ahead at the 2012 presidential race. By putting herself into the spotlight so often, Palin’s giving potential opponents more and more footage to use as a weapon down the road, especially from public speeches and Fox News appearances. There’s something to be said for over exposure. Mark Burnett helped Donald Trump regain relevancy with ‘The Apprentice.’ Now Trump’s more of an after thought that a bona fide cultural icon.
Celebrity and political clout are quite similar, actually: They’re both fleeting and must be used wisely.