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Anyone who loves to hate Sarah Palin will find this appropriate: Her new Fox News series is premiering on April Fool's Day. Meanwhile, the network displayed a bit of foolishness in promoting it, as LL Cool J had to make a statement denying reports that he's a guest on Palin's Real American Stories (airing tonight, 10 p.m. ET, in place of On the Record with Greta Van Susteren).
Palin's show will focus on the resilience of Americans (both everyday citizens and prominent ones) who are overcoming a wide variety of challenges, with Palin conducting some interviews.
In a promo for the first episode of the show, which will air sporadically as a "Fox News special presentation," Palin says, "This is a place where real people from all walks of life share their own personal stories -- from embracing our entrepreneurial spirit and overcoming adversity to reaching out to others in need."
The seemingly benign series has already touched off a controversy because it publicized that LL Cool J would be one of the "real Americans" featured. This was news to the rapper and NCIS: Los Angeles star, who late Tuesday night fired off a tweet: “Fox lifted an old interview I gave in 2008 to someone else & are misrepresenting to the public in order to promote Sarah Palins Show. WOW.” For more on that, click here.
Producers pulled a planned segment focusing on the rapper's rise to fame, but the spat seems to be getting more focus that the series. Palin would no doubt prefer that viewers focus on the Americans still being profiled, including a soldier who died to save others and a rich stockbroker using his wealth to help disadvantaged kids.
Palin's hosting gig is part of a deal that she signed with Fox News to appear semi-regularly as a commentator. "She is one of the most talked about and politically polarizing figures in the country," Bill Shine, a Fox programming exec, said in an L.A. Times interview. "First off, we hope she brings that." So far, so good: Her mid-January appearance on The O'Reilly Factor attracted nearly four million viewers.
Do you think that Real American Stories will be a ratings success? Chime in below!