Animal Planet Wrangles Its Own ‘Duck Dynasty’ With ‘Alaska Bush Family’

TCA 2014: Network premieres the six-episode reality series this spring

Last Updated: July 10, 2014 @ 7:27 PM

Animal Planet teased the premiere of “Alaska Bush Family” at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Thursday morning, and it looks an awful lot like A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” — absurdly long beards and all.

“Our family is doing what is natural for human beings to do,” family patriarch Billy Brown says in the sizzle reel. “It’s the life we were meant to live.”

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The show focuses on the Brown family, comprised of Billy, wife Ami, and nine children as they hunt, fish, and work together to survive in the frigid Alaskan bush.

The quintessentially rough-around-the-edges father told the TCA audience that the premise behind the six-episode series, premiering this spring, is to shed light on the family’s isolated existence, so that America can see that it’s still possible to live an independent life but as a family unit.

“God and family values,” Brown said in response to a question about what the most important takeaway is from the show.

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“Not putting anybody down, [but] I think it’s something we’re losing today,” he added.

After Brown lost his family at the age of 16, he hit the road, met Ami, and they traveled the country together. But the two were never satisfied with the cities and towns in the lower 48.

“When Alaska opened up to us it was like a readymade home to us,” Brown said.

As part of homeschooling the children, Brown told the audience he would write stories and put together kids’ books. One of the sons eventually put the books online, where producers discovered the isolated family and offered to tell their story.

“We spent 30 years of our life trying to stay as far away as we could from this stuff and people,” Brown said. “[But] we think it’s cool to show people how we live.”

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