Sarah Palin announced in October that she would not run for president, leaving her free to focus on another time-honored important institution: reality TV.
But the Fox News contributor is having some trouble selling a follow-up to the Mark Burnett-produced "Sarah Palin's Alaska," her TLC show that bowed in November 2010 to a record-breaking 5 million viewers.
The Hollywood Reporter reports Palin and Burnett are pitching another reality series, this one more focused on Palin's husband Todd and his career as a championship snowmobile racer.
Sounds like someone is running low on ideas.
But for now, TLC owner Discovery Communications has passed, say sources. And A&E Networks, which entered into a bidding war with Discovery for "Sarah Palin's Alaska," also is not interested.
The Hollywood Reporter says the networks have balked at the steep asking price -- Palin's "Alaska" went for more than $1 million an episode and sources say Burnett and Palin are asking for a similar payday for the follow-up. Mark Burnett Productions did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Another obstacle is Palin's status as a cultural lightning rod could be waning. The former Alaska governor, 47, has been largely under the radar since confirming that she would not seek the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, as press attention has shifted to front-runners Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and the rest. Says one network
FLIGHT ATTENDANTS REALLY HATE ALEC BALDWIN: E! News reports the seemingly grudge-holding American Airlines Flight Attendants Union (motto: "Not just waitresses in the sky!") has taken the first steps to make sure Alec Baldwin--or his TV alter ego--never appear on their planes again.
The airlines confirmed that since Baldwin's game of Words With Friends gained him some enemies (and his "Saturday Night Live" skit spoofing the airline over the weekend did not help), the union has approached management about pulling the critically lauded "30 Rock" from its in-flight entertainment lineup.
That's right, Mr. Funny Guy. No more making our passengers laugh.
No decision has yet been made regarding the sitcom's yanking, though an airline spokesman noted that NBC routinely rotates which programs it offers onboard the AA flights.
On "SNL" Baldwin played an airline pilot apologizing to Alec Baldwin about the mess that went down last week after Baldwin refused to stop playing Words with Friends on his iPhone, even when flight attendants insisted it was time for takeoff. Baldwin ended up going into the lavatory and slamming the door, which caused the pilot to come back and ultimately throw Baldwin off the plane. Baldwin sent out some tweets basically calling the flight attendants dim bulbs. But he did wear a mustache during the skit, which should win him some suave points with AA pilots.
Currently, "30 Rock" does continue to air on some -- though not all -- of the airline's flights, which is standard programming procedure. For now. And yes, you should care greatly about all this.
THE FRENCH ARE CAUSING TROUBLE AGAIN: A judge on Friday granted Kirsten Dunst a temporary restraining order against a French man who has repeatedly written to the actress and traveled to Los Angeles at least five times to try to meet her.
Superior Court Judge Carol Boas Goodson ordered Jean Christophe Prudhon of Dijon, France, to stay 100 yards away from the "Spider-Man" star and to stop trying to contact her.
Of Dijon? This is where any serious People columnist fiercely debates himself on whether to make a Mean Mr. Mustard joke.
Anyway, in letters accompanying Dunst's petition, Prudhon wrote that he sold his home in France so he could continue to travel to meet Dunst, who -- shockingly -- has not responded to any of his more than 50 letters. He wrote that he is in love with the actress and that he has repeatedly waited outside Dunst's home to try to meet her and has been mistaken for a paparazzo.
Makes you wonder how many copies of "Bring It On" the guy's been through.
"I am frightened for my safety, as well as the safety of my family and friends who visit my home," Dunst wrote in a court filing. "I am worried that Mr. Prudhon will escalate his conduct further, putting myself and my family in danger."
Dunst's mother, Inez Dunst, wrote in a sworn declaration that she was alarmed by Prudhon's appearance when he came to her door last week trying to meet the actress. Inez Dunst said she knew who he was because he has repeatedly sent her daughter letters over the years.
It could not be immediately determined if Prudhon, 51, was represented by a lawyer, and attempts to locate him for comment were unsuccessful.
The actress, who stars in the film "Melancholia," wrote in a court filing that her security personnel told Prudhon to stay away, but he has refused. Goodson will consider whether to grant a three-year restraining order at a Dec. 21 hearing.
HATCH OUT: Reality television star Richard Hatch has been released from a Rhode Island prison after serving a nine-month sentence for failing to pay back taxes. A state prison official says the winner of the first season of the CBS reality show "Survivor" was released Monday.
Hatch served six weeks at a state minimum-security facility as a transition after spending most of his sentence in federal prison. The Newport resident had spent more than three years in prison for not paying taxes on his $1 million "Survivor" winnings. He was released in 2009 and ordered to refile his 2000 and 2001 taxes and pay what he owed.
The 50-year-old went back to prison in March for violating the terms of his supervised release by failing to settle his tax bill. Smart. The IRS likes it when you ignore them. Hatch had claimed he was "financially destitute."
TODAY IN HISTORY
Today is Tuesday, Dec. 13, the 347th day of 2011. There are 18 days left in the year.
1642: Dutch navigator Abel Tasman sighted present-day New Zealand.
1769: Dartmouth College in New Hampshire received its charter.
1862: Union forces suffered a major defeat to the Confederates in the Civil War Battle of Fredericksburg.
1918: President Woodrow Wilson arrived in France, becoming the first chief executive to visit Europe while in office.
1928: George Gershwin's "An American in Paris" had its premiere at Carnegie Hall in New York.
1944: During World War II, the U.S. cruiser Nashville was badly damaged in a Japanese kamikaze attack that claimed more than 130 lives.
1961: American artist Grandma Moses died in Hoosick Falls, N.Y., at age 101.
1978: The Philadelphia Mint began stamping the Susan B. Anthony dollar, which went into circulation in July 1979.
1981: Authorities in Poland imposed martial law in a crackdown on the Solidarity labor movement. (Martial law formally ended in 1983.)
1994: An American Eagle commuter plane crashed short of Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina, killing 15 of the 20 people on board.
2001: The Pentagon publicly released a captured videotape of Osama bin Laden in which the al-Qaida leader said the deaths and destruction achieved by the September 11 attacks exceeded his "most optimistic" expectations. President George W. Bush served formal notice that the United States was withdrawing from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia.
2003: Saddam Hussein was captured by U.S. forces while hiding in a hole under a farmhouse in Adwar, Iraq, near his hometown of Tikrit.
2006: Lamar Hunt, 74, the owner of football's Kansas City Chiefs who coined the term "Super Bowl," died in Dallas.
2010: President Barack Obama's historic health care overhaul hit its first major legal roadblock as a federal judge in Richmond, Va., declared that the law's central requirement that nearly all Americans carry insurance was unconstitutional. Veteran U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke, 69, died in Washington after surgery to repair a tear in his aorta.
Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz (91), actor-comedian Dick Van Dyke (86), actor Christopher Plummer (82), music/film producer Lou Adler (78), movie producer Richard Zanuck (77), singer John Davidson (70), actress Kathy Garver (TV: "Family Affair") (66), singer Ted Nugent (63), rock musician Jeff "Skunk" Baxter (63), Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke (58), country singer John Anderson (57), singer Morris Day (55), actor Steve Buscemi (54), actor Johnny Whitaker (52), actor-comedian Jamie Foxx (44), TV personality Debbie Matenopoulos (37), rock singer-musician Thomas Delonge (36), rock singer Amy Lee (Evanescence) (30), country singer Taylor Swift (22).