Media Analysis: 'Dancing' soars, 'Alaska' falls: Are Palin politics at play?
November 23rd, 2010
03:22 PM ET
4 years ago

Media Analysis: 'Dancing' soars, 'Alaska' falls: Are Palin politics at play?

(CNN) - "Dancing with the Stars" continues to enjoy enormous ratings – and enormous amounts of controversy and decidedly non-dancing publicity. The ABC competition show will conclude tonight, and viewers will find out whether Bristol Palin can pull off the upset victory. Meanwhile the other show with Bristol as co-star, "Sarah Palin's Alaska," is seeing ratings erosion for episode two.

ABC's overnight ratings for the 8 p.m. DWTS were a 16 rating/24 share – enough to be the most watched program on television last night (the extended 10 minutes did slightly better). The show beat second-place CBS by 39 percent. But as Lisa de Moraes of the Washington Post writes, the program is no longer just about dancing. She interviewed executive producer Conrad Green, who noted the politicization of the program by both sides, and said it was not something he had anticipated.

"I feel sorry for Bristol - she shouldn't have to be doing this under this scrutiny," said Green.

Meanwhile, right-of-center website Hillbuzz.org says they have been gaming the system – not because they like Bristol's waltz, but for more political reasons.

"The real aim of Bristol's Pistols: to expose Democratic hypocrisy on voter fraud and ask why the media is so obsessed with the voting on a reality show but doesn't care about Leftist tampering with actual elections," blogger Kevin DuJan wrote.

Will a Bristol win Tuesday night anger the most ardent DWTS fans? Or will a loss just be chalked up to part of a vast left-wing conspiracy? (Is it even clear that both questions are sarcasm?)

Meanwhile Bristol's TLC show, "Sarah Palin's Alaska," fell drastically from its enormous debut last Sunday. The program had nearly five million viewers for its premiere, finishing #6 on all of cable. But two days ago the show was seen by just 3.04 million, and dropped to #68 for the week.

The Hollywood Reporter writes, "TLC expected a ratings drop coming off the high-flying premiere; executives realized some of their numbers were driven by sheer curiosity rather than eagerness to see an Alaska-based travelogue reality show. Competition from Sunday Night Football and the American Music Awards may have impacted the numbers as well."

With the political implications a constant source of debate, it's impossible to see the reality show as simply a look at Alaska and Palin's family life. As she publicly speculates about her own 2012 run, the interest in the show, especially by her fans, will continue. While losing two million viewers from episode one to two is significant, it signals the drop off of the curious observers, looking for the nugget or hint that shows Palin is ready (or not) to make a Presidential run a reality.


Filed under: Bristol Palin • Sarah Palin
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Joe

    Talk about celebrity. Remember when everybody was talking back in 2008 about how Obama was celebrity with its stars and lights. Palin has taken that word and shown her stuff. I can't wait until she does a Lohan and really becomes the celebrity that she wants to be.

    November 23, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  2. Lolo

    If Bristol were really true to herself she would have dropped out. Who wants to win a competition by cheating., but then again we are talking about the Palins. Their motto is no matter what a win is a win whether by fair play or cheating. The tea partiers are bragging how they cheated and it seems okay to them. This is how the republicans and tea partiers roll if you can't beat them cheat your way through it. Also if you really look at how Bristol and her partner interact, they have a closer relationship than we think. Education is the key.

    November 23, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  3. Beverly - NYC

    Bristol you are delusional just like mommy. To actually think you belong in the final three, maybe your dancing is better in your head. As a member of the viewing public I see a non-dancer completely devoid of rhythm. Heather Mills dancing on a prostethic limb was 100 times better than you. I'm sure you will enjoy your unearned trophy, if you win tonight. If not I'm sure mamma grizzly already has a list of people to blame on twitter

    November 23, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  4. Nancy Pelosi, the wicked witch of the west, the DemocRAT gift that just keeps on giving

    I just LOOOOOOOVVVEEE even more Palin family news on the ticker! Helps satiate all the hate filled left wing hate mongers. Go to it sickos!!

    November 23, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  5. Cori

    The palin's are all morons, famous for being stupid, rich for being stupid, and mostly in the news for being stupid. Bristol is a cow, momma bear is a pathetic hypocrite, and combined they are nasty scum. The media is lame for following the palin ilk around like the desperate losers they are. This is what our country has boiled down to, just pathetic.

    November 23, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  6. Katie

    "I feel sorry for Bristol – she shouldn't have to be doing this under this scrutiny," said Green."

    How about feeling sorry for those that actually deserve to win based on their performances, that's where the sympathy should lie.

    Palin will win on a stacked deck. Her win is actually meaningless...just as meaningless she is and as meaningless as Dancing with the Stars is.

    November 23, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  7. OhioRon

    Wow! Such hatred! These people are not murderers. Why was this outrage not seen when Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian were getting all of the publicity for doing nothing. This poor little girl was asked if she wanted to participate on DWTS and she said yes. If she would have been voted out in week 1 she would not have said a word. She has nothing to do with the judging or voting and is just doing the best she can. Do you thinik that she should have gone up to the judges and said "that person that got voted out is a better dancer than me and I should go home". When I see a program on tv that I don't like, I change the channel. I don't get on a blog and tell everyone how badly I hated it. Geeesh people get over yourselves. Neither of these ladies have done anything to you!

    November 23, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. Carol

    Vote fixing is the domain of the Republicans – don't forget Florida!!! I think TWTS is disgusting. It is no longer a dancing contest.

    November 23, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  9. Indy

    I really do feel sorry for Bristol, she actually believes her Mother should run for President and that is very very sad. As for her dancing it is below average but you can't blame her for the votes she is getting and she just needs to be quiet and take the high road instead of constantly complaining like her Mother does every day.

    November 23, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  10. once upon a horse

    I have never seen DWTS and really don't plan to look at it now, BUT this all makes the series much more interesting. If Bristol Palin WINS the left and Palin haters will say the show is rigged and ABC bowed to the Palin crowd. If Bristol LOSES then you can bet that if Sarah doesn't say it, someone will say ABC bowed to the "evil left" and felt the pressure. Either way it's going to be tabliod headlines. Perhaps poor Bristol should have stayed at home with Tripp.

    November 23, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    I think most poeple tuned in the first week of Palin's alaska in hope they would see her stay there. when she didn't, they walked away,
    As for the group of conservative dingbats that has co-oped DWTS; At what point does America wake up to the craziness of actions and statements by these lunatics? It's no longer speculation that they stuffed the voting- there have now been two statements made to prove they did.
    America wake – back away from the cages of these idiots and stop supporting their actions.

    November 23, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  12. T'sah from Virginia

    @Mona – AMEN!!!!!! The FETISH for the PALINS is getting very BORING now and it makes me go to another channel. CNN can't get enough. I remember when we did not hear from the Palins for about a month and NO ONE was missing them. Because when they came BACK, almost EVERY blogger voiced their dismay for the return. So you are right MONA – no one will miss it!!!

    @Nancy Pelosi, the wicked... Yes, you LOVE IT here because CNN post your blogs every day – at least you get YOUR HATE posted @ CNN which is more FAIR and BALANCED than that other news channel where YOU should be!! And it's NOT about HATE towards the Palins – it's about how the PALINS are using the media to push their Non-Talent agenda!! Furthermore, it does not matter how much YOU or the RIGHT praise her – there is ONE THING she would NEVER be – and that’s President of the US!! That’s enough for me and millions of others!

    November 23, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  13. John

    Bristol Palin shouldn't have lasted this long, I think DWTS and ABC have it fix. Bristol Palin can't dance and should have been kick off the show weeks ago. She looks like she as legs of a horse, and she isn't a star in case you call being a unwed mother a star.And nobody want too see her mom either. Saran pPalin is the most UNQUALIFIED person too run for any PUBLIC OFFICE.I'm a REPUBLICAN and I wouldn't vote for Saran Palin for anything.

    November 23, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  14. Linda

    Why such hateful comments....you are a bunch of sick hateful people

    November 23, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  15. bronko

    I can imagine what pressure Mark Ballas is in, even though he is trying to do his best.
    Bristol, she might have learned a few steps while wearing her monkey suit that represent and fits her very nicely, at least no one would know who she is.
    To top it off she is no close whatsoever to the more advance and better dancers who were let go unfortunately, most recently
    (BANDY NORWOOD w/ MARKSIM CHERKOVSKIY).
    First of all Bristol is just like a jelly blob on stage she does not know how to dance. Because most likely that the show is rigged and biased towards the Bimbo Uneducated Mother Palin, and if an investigation is done one would not be surprised if she paid of people to call in as much as they can for her daughter to win and even to reach the finals.

    Bristol is a real airhead like her mother uneducated, unwed with a child, free loafer, trying to get into the entertainment business. What a real example to the young people of America.

    You can be a success story with out being educated in this country just like her mother that went to 6 different colleges to complete her (Journalism BA degree) and still does not know anything, (Like Africa is a continent and not a country…as she claimed to know)…
    God bless America and help is needed to keep away from these kinds of individual’s money hungry, liars.

    November 23, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
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