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Showtime “would love” to renew Sacha Baron Cohen’s controversial series Who Is America? — and might even let Sarah Palin off the hook.

At the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Beverly Hills on Monday, Showtime CEO David Nevins told reporters, “I’m dying to bring it back [for a second season].” While entertainment president Gary Levine added that there are “casual conversations” with the comedian about continuing the show.

“He’s the Daniel Day-Lewis of comedy,” Nevins declared. “I knew doing a show with him would be a risk and it’s a risk I’m glad we took … he had me at ‘hello.'”

Levine was asked after the network’s panels when Sarah Palin’s episode will air — the former Alaska governor has blasted the show for apparently duping her and her daughter. But interestingly, Levine repeatedly hinted that Palin might not be in the show.

“There are several people who have thrown themselves in front of buses that may not be headed their way,” Levine said archly when asked about Palin.

Does that mean Palin won’t be in the show?

“Sacha is very hardworking and selective in [creating] the final product,” Levine replied. “He’s always refining it. We’ll see.”

Reporters didn’t buy the idea that Baron Cohen would just leave Palin on the cutting room floor. So they asked: Is Showtime unable to include Palin because of a legal reason?

“Sacha is refining stuff right up to the moment it goes on the air,” Levine replied. “He screens stuff for audiences. It all feels off the cuff but it’s remarkably researched.”

So take all that for what you will.

By the way, what does the title Who Is America? mean, anyway? What’s Baron Cohen trying to say, exactly, about our country?

“I don’t know what he’s saying about America,” Nevins admitted. “Clearly, we’re living in a time of extremes.”