‘Duck Dynasty,’ Reality Hit and Symbol of Culture Wars, to End After Current Season

Final seven episodes of A&E series will air next spring


“Duck Dynasty” will soon have its last call.

The reality hit about a backwoods Louisiana family who became unlikely moguls will end after its current season, A&E announced Wednesday.

“The family and network wanted to give their loyal fans a long farewell with one last season followed by a series of holiday specials,” the network said in a statement. The 11th season was set for premiere on Wednesday night, with originals running through January 18. After a short break, the show will return on March 1 with seven final episodes, with a finale scheduled for April 12. After that, the Robertsons will return for holiday specials.

The A&E announcement specified that the network made the decision “jointly” with the Robertson family.

“Duck Dynasty” premiered in 2012 and quickly became one of the biggest reality TV hits in history. It told the story of long-bearded backwoods patriarch Phil Robertson and his family, who became wildly successful with a duck call business. With their unlikely success story, the Robertsons became heroes to millions of Americans, who admired their ability to attain success while following their own rules.

The Season 4 premiere scored a record 11.8 million total viewers in 2013.

But the Robertsons were also swept up in the nation’s culture wars. Phil Robertson has made comments in magazine interviews and online videos that many have taken as homophobic; after a 2013 GQ interview in which he said that to a man, a vagina “would be more desirable than a man’s anus,” he was temporarily suspended from the show.

“Duck Dynasty” will have aired 130 original episodes by the finale.