Palin vs. Palin: The Battle for Ratings

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The Palin family is rapidly becoming a broadcast dynasty. As you may be aware if you own a television, or know anyone who owns a television, or live in a country where television is not illegal, 20-year-old Bristol Palin is on the current season of ABC's Dancing With the Stars. Meanwhile, Bristol's mother, onetime vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, has a new show on The Learning Channel called Sarah Palin's Alaska. What this means for the average American viewer is that it's getting harder and harder to turn on the TV without encountering a Palin of some sort.

But what does it mean for the Palins themselves? Tension! Simmering, simmering tension!

Tim Molloy at The Wrap explains:

Bristol Palin joked last week that she and her mom were competing for ratings -- and Bristol is decidedly winning. Ratings for "Sarah Palin's Alaska" were down nearly 40 percent in the show's second outing Sunday from the show's debut, when it had the best launch in TLC's history with nearly 5 million viewers.It had just over 3 million viewers this past Sunday... Bristol, meanwhile, is riding high on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." Going into Tuesday's finale, the show was up 18 percent from last week and 15 percent from the equivalent episode from last fall. Monday's episode had a 4.7 rating and overall viewership of more than 23 million.

Well, maybe the reports of competition are a bit exaggerated. We'd certainly hate to be accused of "spinning and ginning up" this story, so here's another quote from Molloy, this one a bit more deflationary:

Of course, Bristol's joke aside, it's not fair to say she's truly competing with her mom. The shows are on different nights, "Dancing" is an established powerhouse, and ABC is a lot bigger than TLC.

So there you have it: mother and daughter are getting along just fine. You can watch both shows and not feel like you're betraying anyone. Of course, we here at the Wire are only interested in the HBO series of the same name (WHICH IS SET IN BALTIMORE, MARYLAND), so this is all sort of immaterial to us.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.