Palin’s talk show debut garners weak reviews, lower-than-expected ratings.

Palin2 Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s (R) lack of policy knowledge and gaffes on the 2008 campaign led many to conclude that she may be better cut out to host a talk show than stay in politics. But her first foray into the genre, “Real American Stories,” which debuted on Fox News Thursday night, was beset with controversy before it even aired. Rapper LL Cool J and country music star Toby Keith both expressed disapproval that Fox was using canned interviews they had recorded with different people for Palin’s show, leading the network to pull LL Cool J’s interview. Following the show’s airing, critics gave middling reviews, calling it “canned,” “innocuous, flat,” and a “letdown.” It appears viewers weren’t thrilled either, as Mediaite notes that the show’s ratings didn’t even beat those of the program it replaced:

Sarah Palin’s much-hyped LL Cool J-less Fox News special last night didn’t bring in the huge ratings some (ok, we) predicted. Greta Van Susteren’s On The Record which normally airs at 10pmET beat the program the previous three nights in the A25-54 demographic and two out of three nights in total viewers.

Moreover, the show “shed viewers from start to finish,” losing 18 percent of viewers over the course of the program.