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Sarah Palin has a new reality show that debuted on TLC Sunday night. The family adventure series Sarah Palin’s Alaska filmed 8 episodes, over the summer, of the former governor and her family enjoying the beauty and grandeur of Alaska.

The first show garnered an impressive 5 million viewers — a ratings bonanza for a cable series. TLC reports that the premiere episode had the best launch of any show in it’s history.

The first episode featured Sarah and her husband Todd Palin enjoying several day trips via bush plane. Nine-year-old Piper Palin and her cousin joined the couple for some salmon fishing — in very close proximity to bears.

Another field trip had Sarah and Todd landing on a glacier and then climbing a portion of Mount McKinley. She has a fear of heights and struggled to follow the directions of a guide who was talking her through her trek up a sheer rock face.

On the home front, sixteen-year-old Willow Palin invited her boyfriend Andy up to her room, which was immediately nixed by Sarah. Despite her protestations, a few minutes later Andy was seen running up the stairs. A quick phone call from one Blackberry to another brought the misbehaving lad back down to the main floor of the family home – see video clip below.

Sarah’s older teen Bristol Palin, and her toddler son, will appear in later episodes. She is currently living in Los Angeles while competing on Dancing with the Stars.

Palin did manage to get in a bit of her own agenda during the show’s pilot. She was critical of her next door neighbor, journalist Joe McGinniss, who moved in over the summer for the express purpose of spying on the family as research for a hate book. Todd beefed up the fence between the two properties to provide some privacy but the family seemed very preoccupied with the interloper.

TLC’s Kate Plus 8 traveled to Alaska to film a joint camping episode.

More photos and video from last night’s show below:

Photos: Courtesy TLC via WENN