Sarah Palin near deal for reality show

Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:17am EDT
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By James Hibberd

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Sarah Palin is close to a deal for her travelogue reality show.

Sources say Discovery Communications has edged out rival A&E Networks in the bidding for the project, "Sarah Palin's Alaska." An agreement could be announced in the next few days.

It's still undecided which network in the Discovery suite would air "Alaska," which is being produced by Mark Burnett Productions.

Although travelogues are on-brand for the Discovery flagship, having Palin as a centerpiece also makes the show a fit for mom-friendly TLC. Clearly nature docs are still viable for the company -- Discovery's latest effort in the genre, the miniseries "Life," just debuted to 11.8 million viewers on Sunday night.

In her numerous TV appearances, Palin has proven she can draw an audience. Yet her show won't come cheap. The former Alaska governor's asking price was $1.2 million per episode. A network paying anywhere close to that figure would make "Alaska" one of the most expensive nature series ever produced.

The high-definition program will be shot in a style similar to "Life" and "Planet Earth" and will feature the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate acting as a guide to the Alaskan outdoors. When it was commissioned by the BBC at a cost of $25 million, the 11-part "Planet Earth" was considered the most expensive documentary the network had ever made. Discovery Communications had no comment.

<p>Alaska Governor Sarah Palin waves to well-wishers while serving hot dogs at the annual Governor's Picnic in Fairbanks, Alaska, July 26, 2009. REUTERS/Nathaniel Wilder</p>