Does Bristol’s ‘Dancing’ Defeat Signal End of TV’s Palin-Mania?

Bristol Palin on 'Dancing with the Stars' (Photo: ABC)

Bristol Palin on 'Dancing with the Stars' (Photo: ABC)

With Bristol Palin going down to defeat on the season finale of ‘Dancing with the Stars‘ Tuesday night, it’s possible we witnessed the beginning of the end of Palin-mania on TV.

For the last few weeks, the Palins and their stranglehold on television was the only subject anyone in the TV biz was talking about. From ‘Sarah Palin’s Alaska‘ setting a new TLC ratings record in its debut to daughter Bristol’s against-all-odds advancement to the finals on ‘DWTS,’ it seemed as if the nation was locked in some kind of weird Palin television death grip.

But now, the grip seems to be loosening. Bristol finished third from the top, which should put to rest all the unsubstantiated (and probably baseless) speculation that fervent followers of Bristol’s mother Sarah Palin had somehow figured out a way to hijack the show’s telephone-based voting system to stack the deck in Bristol’s favor. Now that Bristol has lost, this real or imagined Tea Party conspiracy becomes instantly irrelevant, and Bristol can return to her private life of relative anonymity in Wasilla, Alaska.

And earlier on the same day that Bristol was finally sent packing, word came that Sunday’s episode of ‘Sarah Palin’s Alaska’ had lost 40 percent of the audience that sampled the first episode, dropping from nearly 5 million viewers to 3 million in just one week. The reason is simple: The show was so well-publicized that millions of people were moved to check out its debut. Unfortunately for the show, 40 percent of them decided it wasn’t worth returning to the following week.

So, are the Palins losing their grip on TV? With Bristol booted and ratings plummeting for Sarah’s show, does the Palin TV phenomenon still have legs? What do you think?

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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