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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mark Burnett Talks Sarah Palin, Alaska, and His New Reality Show

Mark Burnett is the executive produce of “The Apprentice,” “Survivor,” “The MTV Movie Awards,” and numerous other shows. But his latest project will take him up to the Alaskan wilderness, with Sarah Palin.

I got a sneak peak at the first fifteen minutes of “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” at the 2010 Blogworld Expo in Las Vegas, and got the chance to speak with Burnett afterward.

Mark Burnett on getting “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” started:

Everyone was talking about this woman, who I’d never heard of before. This governor of Alaska. And the election came and went and it was very obvious to me, that she would make a great subject of a docu-series. It turned out, I wasn’t alone in that thought. I think a couple of hundred different groups, cable channels
, broadcast networks, produces approached Sarah.

I think I have a good reputation with adventure programing, and I’ve done some good work, which I think made it easier for her to pay more attention to me. But also, my approach was to make it Sarah Palin’s Alaska, you know, Alaska through her eyes.

People will get to know Sarah and her family, in a completely non-political environment.

Burnett on Todd Palin:

Todd is like Captain America. This guy, this guy is super tough. He can actually do it all. (Talking about fishing, hiking, camping, etc…)

Burnett on the Palin family:

There are five generations in one house. You know, from Sarah’s grandchild, Tripp, up to Todd’s grandmother, who’s up in Alaska, who’s an eskimo. And you really see the extended family, They are a real family. There are so many people in one house.

For instance, we were going to go shoot some 4 wheeling. And we just thought it would be Sarah and Todd, and maybe be a few others. But they invite their nieces and nephew and uncles along, and we just have a big gang going. It’s just the Palins, the way they are.

On politics:

It’s completely non-political. I’m in the middle. I’m certainly not on the left and not on the right. I’m right in the middle, quite frankly. We could talk about any politics if we wanted, but it really was just an adventure, fun, romp through Alaska.

On the Palin family dynamic:

They’re like any family… they’re just normal. You know what it’s like. You love your kids your kids love you. But they don’t want you dropping them off in front of the school, they want you to drop them off a block away. (More here)

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