BY: RACHEL D’ORO
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Palin clan is off the air for now, at least on TLC.
“Sarah Palin’s Alaska” concluded Sunday on the cable network with the final episode of the eight-part documentary series showing the former governor and her family having assorted adventures in their home state.
The show appeared ripe for a second season after attracting an average of more than 3 million viewers per episode and debuting with an audience of nearly 5 million people in November — a record premiere for TLC.
The end of the cable TV show is generating online buzz about the reason it won’t continue.
Many say the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee must be eyeing another run for the White House. Some even mentioned that Discovery Communications-owned TLC could risk violating equal-time regulations if the show continued and Palin was running for office.
However, TLC spokeswoman Laurie Goldberg said the plan from the start was for a special single season only.
“It’s not a cancellation. It’s not a lack of renewal,” she said.
Palin representatives declined to comment on the matter.
The news that the show was not returning was first reported by Entertainment Weekly on Friday, a day before the weekend mass shooting in Arizona that left six people dead and injured 14 others, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Palin was drawn into the discussion because she used crosshairs on a gun sight to target Giffords’ district and 19 others last spring during midterm elections.
Conservative talk show host Glenn Beck on Monday read what he said was an e-mail from Palin saying she hates violence and that “out children will not have peace if politicos just capitalize on this to succeed in portraying anyone as inciting terror and violence.”
The cable television show has generated controversy of its own.
Palin shot a caribou in one episode, prompting screenwriter Aaron Sorkin to call her a “witless bully.” In another episode, Palin and her family commented about Joe McGinniss, a temporary next-door neighbor who the Palins said intruded on their privacy to work on a book.
Palin also was criticized for allowing her family to fish close to bears and for presenting the 49th state in a way only the wealthy could experience.
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