The new show "Sarah Palin's Alaska" attracted a record number of viewers for its debut on the TLC network Sunday night, parent company Discovery Communications (DISCA) said Monday.

The show attracted 4.96 million viewers, beating out the 2003 debut of "What Not To Wear," according to figures from Nielsen. "Sarah Palin's Alaska" attracted more than double the average number of viewers for the last six weeks of TLC's Sunday night prime time shows.

Discovery's decision to launch a show featuring the ex-Alaska governor and one-time vice presidential candidate raised eyebrows. After all, the company features pro-nature programming and Palin's regulatory record has been criticized by environmentalists. The show's executive producer is Mark Burnett of "Survivor" and "The Apprentice" fame.

Palin has remained in the public eye since resigning as Alaska's governor last year and continues to be considered a possible Republican candidate for president in 2012. Her book, "Going Rogue," was a bestseller in 2009.

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