‘Duck Dynasty’ Season Premiere Gets Ratings Boost Following Controversy

'Duck Dynasty' Season Premiere Gets Ratings Boost Following Controversy

8.5 million total viewers tune in for “Duck Dynasty” return

A&E's recently controversial reality show “Duck Dynasty” returned for its fifth season on Wednesday, drawing a slightly higher audience than its season finale in October.

Wednesday night's premiere drew 8.5 million total viewers, inching up from the 8.4 million that the October finale drew.

See video: ‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Phil Robertson: Marry 15 or 16 Year Old Girls

In the 18-49 demographic most important to advertisers, the “Duck Dynasty” premiere had 4.2 million total viewers.

On the downside for the series, Wednesday's premiere fell considerably short of the 11.8 million total viewers that the previous season's premiere drew back in August. (To be fair, the August premiere set a high-water mark as the most-watched non-fiction series telecast in cable history.)

Also read: ‘Duck Dynasty’ Reversal: GLAAD Tells A&E Not to Put Profits Over People

The series — which chronicles the shenanigans of the Louisiana-based Robertson family, who made a fortune manufacturing duck calls — found itself mired in controversy last year when family patriarch Phil Robertson made anti-gay comments during a “GQ” interview.

Following a protest, Robertson — who describes himself as a Christian who turned to religion after hitting rock bottom with the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle — was placed on indefinite suspension. However, a fan backlash ensued, and Robertson was quickly reinstated, without missing an episode of the series.

  • Paige1987

    Why aren't you comparing ratings between season premier shows — the 4th season premiere versus 5th — rather than to season finale? Wouldn't that be the better measure? If you did, than you would find the Dickheads’ ratings were down 28%. Pretty weak showing.

    • curious

      good questions, Paige1987.

      • Tommy

        because they are up idiot can you count!!

    • Ryan Mayer

      The season 4 premier was in the fall, Aug 14th, which usually has higher ratings than winter premiers to begin with. When you consider the timing of the premier and duck hunting opener in most states the comparison between season 4's premier and season 5's is even more meaningless.

    • Hachachacha

      They do put that in the article…. It said they had 8.5 million for the premier this season versus 11.8 million last season.

  • Chris

    Isn't it industry standard to compare season premieres? Actually isn't it standard in any industry to compare similar time periods? By this measure, retailers could claims huge increases In December over April!

    I will answer those questions for you. Yes it IS standard in any industry to compare season premieres, and misleading and unethical to compare finales to premieres. This is actually so blatant that it exposes your obvious agenda.

    Whether they lost viewership from the last season premiere (they did) is irrelevant, your lack of any ethics in reporting, even on a silly subject like reality TV is astounding. If yin will mislead on this, where else do you lie?

    • Marti

      Wouldn't it be more misleading to conclude that a 4 million drop in viewership is in any way related to the post “Phil” controversy? I could pull up dozens of liberal leaning articles that couch the season 4 and 5 premier comparisons as a moral victory in their fight. It's really not…and regardless 8.5 million viewers is still hugely successful . especially for a cable show.

      Yin is providing something called ‘perspective'.

      The longevity of Duck Dynasty will ultimately be determined when the bulk of the viewers lose interest for a variety of reasons and eventually at some point all shows ‘jump the shark'. But when the dynasty is over, it won't be because of Phil waving his bible.