John M. Becker

Millions Abandon 'Duck Dynasty'

Filed By John M. Becker | January 17, 2014 8:15 AM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: A&E, Duck Dynasty, free market, Louisiana, Phil Robertson, TV ratings

New episodes of A&E's Duck Dynasty returned to the airwaves this week for the first time since racist and homophobic remarks by star Phil Robertson touched off a national controversy.

Conservatives valiantly opportunistically rushed to Robertson's defense as the scandal unfolded, but the surge in enthusiasm from the far-right crowd didn't translate to a net surge in viewership for the show. In fact, Entertainment Weekly reports that ratings for Duck Dynasty's season 5 premiere were down by nearly 30 percent:

Though Duck Dynasty was expected by some to return to its biggest ratings yet after its huge controversy last month, the Louisiana-based reality show returned to lower viewership than its previous two premieres.

Wednesday night's Duck Dynasty season 5 premiere had 8.5 million viewers. That's huge for a cable reality show, but down 28 percent from its record-setting fourth season debut in August (11.8 million). It's also slightly down from the show's third season premiere in February last year (8.6 million). A&E notes the number up slightly from the fourth season finale on Oct. 23 (though obviously it's standard to compare premieres to premieres).

Would you look at that? I guess prejudice just doesn't sell like it used to. Looks like the free market, which conservatives claim to worship above all else, has spoken.

Oh, and by the way:

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