TLC said "Sarah Palin's Alaska" averaged 3 million viewers, down from nearly 5 million for its premiere a week before.
"Sarah Palin's Alaska" debuted with 4.96 million viewers, which the network said made it the top-performing series premiere in TLC history. Commenting on the two-week decline, a TLC representative said: "We are very happy with the ongoing strength of "Sarah Palin's Alaska," and it continues to drive big ratings gains for TLC."
The show does top TLC's prime-time average this season by a large margin. That was 1.1 million by one measure.
It is not uncommon for a heavily hyped show to suffer a ratings decline for a second episode. If it settles in at the 3 million-viewer level, it will be considered a hit, though the structure of the show makes it unlikely there will be a second season.
TLC said the second episode drew a 2.2 household rating.
Separately, the former Alaskan governor announced in an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News, scheduled to air tonight, that she will not agree to another interview with CBS News anchor Katie Couric.
3 million viewers is still big for a cable show, so try to focus on its size relative to other shows rather than its size relative to the first show (down 40%). Nearly every show drops audience after its debut, but the trades don't report it breathlessly (some bias?).
For perspective, last week Dexter drew 2 million and shows that reached Palin's 3 million include Real Housewives of Atlanta, Next Iron Chef, and Boardwalk Empire.