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Has Sarah Palin Been Elected the New Kate Gosselin?

Kate Gosselin, Sarah Palin ABC/Adam Larkey; Steve Fenn/ABC

Just how good was Sarah Palin's Sunday-night debut as a cable-TV star?

Well, let's just say, we hope Kate Gosselin isn't the competitive type.

MORE: Bristol Palin talks Tea Party conspiracy theories

The premiere of Sarah Palin's Alaska delivered a cable-big 5 million viewers. That's said to be a new debut record for a TLC series, including ones fronted by Gosselin.

Gosselin actually went looking for some of that Palin magic on the most recent installment of Kate Plus 8. Oddly enough, given Mama Palin's and Dancing With the Star daughter Bristol Palin's Nielsen touch, the reality mom and (former?) face of TLC didn't find it. The Alaska-set episode, which aired Nov. 7, and set the stage for Palin's show, averaged a so-so 1.3 million, and seemed to do little to stem those pesky "kate plus 8 cancelled" searches on Google.

If Gosselin's nervous about Palin power, imagine how Palin's possible 2012 presidential competition feels. Nearly all of Palin's audience last night was of voting age (18 and older), and most was of yes-we-really-truly-vote age (35 and older).

Despite all that, Palin is not quite the new queen of cable. Gosselin still owns TLC's top viewership records.

Unless, that is, Jon Gosselin got them in the divorce.

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