Sophomore Slump for TLC’s Palin

Viewers on Sunday turned a cold shoulder to TLC’s controversial new unscripted series, as the sophomore installment of Sarah Palin’s Alaska lost a huge chunk of its premiere audience.

Per Nielsen live-plus-same-day ratings data, SPA averaged 3.04 million viewers Sunday night in the 9 p.m. time slot, down 39 percent from the series opener (4.96 million). Most new shows see their deliveries drop between 20 percent and 25 percent from the premiere to the second episode.

More tellingly, SPA’s core demo shriveled significantly. Only 885,000 adults 18-49 tuned in for the second episode, a decline of 44 percent from the prior-week delivery.

According to Nielsen research, SPA’s median age is 57, which means the show is drawing an audience that is 37 percent older than the overall TLC average (42 years).

While SPA’s ratings were something of a disappointment, the deliveries were far and away TLC’s strongest during the week ended Nov. 21. A special episode of the polygamist reality strip Sister Wives drew 1.83 million viewers leading out of Palin’s show, making it the second-most watched program on TLC last week. The third-biggest draw, a Tuesday 9 p.m. telecast of 19 Kids and Counting, notched a little more than half (1.56 million) the SPA delivery.