David Zurawik

Ratings for Bristol's new show suggest Palins are reality-TV roadkill

In my review Tuesday night of Bristol Palin's new reality show on the Lifetime channel, I said that I had come to believe that the Palins were history. The mass audience no longer cared about Sarah, Bristol, Willow, Todd or any of the other characters in this screwy Alaska clan.

Here's some of what I wrote about "Bristol Palin: Life's a Tripp":

But you know what? I am sitting here at 1 a.m. typing this post, and even though it's been a very long day, my blood pressure is fine. In fact, I'm feeling an almost Zen-like high. And that's because watching this show and reading reviews of Sarah Palin's performance at a gathering of right-wing bloggers this weekend, I have become convinced that the Palins are history.

I don't care about their ignorance and screwed-up values anymore -- even a little. And judging from the overall lack of interest in Sarah Palin's red-meat speech over the weekend, the rest of the media does not care much either.

The Palins are finished - kaput. And I think what finally did Sarah Palin and her family in was HBO's "Game Change." She will never be taken seriously by anyone of the millions who saw that film. Let's hear it for HBO.

It's nice when the hard data comes in and it supports such contentions. And the ratings for the premiere of "Life's a Tripp" were even worse than I expected.

So that no one can accuse me of loading the dice, here's how EW described the ratings under a headline that used the verb "tanked" to describe the show's performance:

The teen mom's new reality effort on Lifetime just flopped out of the gate. Bristol Palin: Life's a Tripp opened to a mere 726,000 viewers and an anemic 0.2 rating among adults 18-49. That's way below the performance of Roseanne Barr's recent failed reality effort on the channel, Roseanne's Nuts, which launched to 1.6 million viewers.
For awhile there, Bristol and her famous politician mom boosted ratings nearly everywhere they went. Even Sarah Palin's contrived TLC show Alaska opened to a whopping 5 million viewers in 2010, and Dancing had one of its best cycles in recent years partly due to Bristol's suspiciously long reign as a contestant.

Here's what they were saying at Yahoo! TV Wednesday night:

Looks like Bristol Palin might be heading back to Alaska sooner than expected.

"Bristol Palin: Life's a Tripp," the new Lifetime reality show that follows the daughter of former VP candidate Sarah Palin as she moves to L.A. with her young son Tripp, debuted to dismal ratings last night.

The premiere attracted a mere 726,000 viewers; by comparison, mama grizzly Sarah's TLC show "Sarah Palin's Alaska" debuted to 5 million viewers last year, and the "Dance Moms" episode that preceded "Life's a Tripp" last night on Lifetime earned 1.8 million viewers. "Tripp" didn't even rank among the top 100 cable programs of the night in the coveted adults 18-49 demographic.

I cannot wait to hear Sarah Palin and her sycophants try to spin these numbers.