"Sarah Palin's Alaska," headed for the TLC network, has been called a reality show about "interesting characters, traditions and attractions in the 49th state," as Variety says. (Discovery Communications, TLC's parent company, is calling it a documentary.) Is the sometimes-unblinking eye of reality TV a good idea for Palin? The Atlantic asks pundits whether someone who may have presidential ambitions might regret this move.
And is it even a good deal for Discovery? The show is reportedly costing Discovery about $1 million per episode -- there are eight episodes. How much of that will go to Palin is unknown. But as the Anchorage Press points out, Alaska's film subsidy program could save the producers a bundle.
Writes the Press: It's not quite as expensive as it sounds. The state of Alaska's film subsidy program would allow [producer Mark] Burnett, or anyone who hires an Alaska resident as a talking head, to get back 40 percent of those wages, or $400,000. Production companies that shoot between October and March qualify for an additional 2 percent, and there's a 2 percent rural shooting bonus. So if a company pays an Alaska politician - or an Alaska fifth-grader - $1 million to travel to Barrow and chatter in front of cameras about the first sunrise of 2011 next January, the production can qualify for $442,000 in state tax credits. Hedges the bet a just little, eh?