Published June 21. 2012 4:00AM
Sarah Palin's husband, Todd, is among those competing in NBC's new reality series "Stars Earn Stripes," the network revealed Tuesday.
This is not entirely surprising, given that "SES" exec producer Mark Burnett also exec-produced Sarah's TLC reality series "Sarah Palin's Alaska." And late last year, word around Hollywood was that Sarah and Burnett were now pitching a reality series about Todd's career as a championship snowmobile racer. Apparently there were no takers.
Maybe more surprising, retired Gen. Wesley Clark, the former supreme allied commander in Europe for NATO and a 2004 presidential candidate, is going to co-host the show with "Entertainment Tonight"/"Dancing With the Stars" alum Samantha Harris.
"The general's legendary record in the U.S. Armed Forces commands respect as he brings so much practical knowledge that will infuse the show with priceless insight," Paul Telegdy, NBC's president of alternative and late-night programming, said in Monday's announcement.
When "Stars Earn Stripes" debuts in August, Todd will be part of a lineup of "celebrities," many of whom are serial reality-series participants: boxing royalty Laila Ali, actor Dean Cain, former NFL player Terry Crews, singer Nick Lachey, Olympic gold medalist Picabo Street, "The Biggest Loser" trainer Dolvett Quince and WWE star Eve Torres.
Meanwhile, the Palins have emerged as the Barrymores of reality TV.
News of Todd's new gig was announced the same day that Lifetime was scheduled to debut "Life's a Tripp," starring daughter Bristol, other daughter Willow and grandson Tripp, as they move from Wasilla, Alaska, to one of the many Palazzo Foreclozzo's in Hollywood. Then, they will move back to Alaska - all part of Bristol's "everyday life as a single mother living under intense media scrutiny that comes from her lineage as the daughter of former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin."
Bristol made her reality-TV debut in the fall of 2010, on the 11th season of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars." She got plenty of screen time on that show, making it all the way to the finals.
Sarah, meanwhile, starred in a TLC reality series called "Sarah Palin's Alaska" that aired in late 2010; Todd, Bristol, Tripp and Willow also honed their reality-TV skills on that show.
Each week on "Stars Earn Stripes," the competitors, teamed with members of the military or law enforcement, will attempt to complete "missions" inspired by actual military exercises. Their winnings will be donated to first-responder and veterans groups. Todd is playing for Alaska's Armed Services YMCA.
"I am thrilled to join 'Stars Earn Stripes' as host and look forward to watching the celebrity cast members test themselves as they step up to take on these tough challenges," Clark said in a statement about the show, which Burnett is exec-producing with Dick Wolf and David A. Hurwitz.