‘Duck Dynasty’ Premiere Shatters Cable Records With 11.8 Million Viewers

Duck Dynasty Premiere Ratings

It draws 11.8 million viewers as well as the summer's top demo score for any series on TV

A&E had the competition ducking for cover Wednesday, as its redneck reality smash “Duck Dynasty” kicked off its new season with a whopping 11.8 million viewers — the largest audience ever for a non-fiction cable series.

The show about a Louisiana family also set an A&E record as the biggest telecast in the network’s history in all key demos.

In adults 18-49, “Duck Dynasty” did a huge 5.0 rating (roughly 6.3 million viewers in the age group), up 26% from last year and a higher same-night rating than any series telecast on television since an April 15 episode of NBC’s “The Voice.”

The only cable reality show to ever draw more adults 18-49 was TLC’s “Jon & Kate” in June 2009 (6.5 million).

Among adults 25-54, “Duck Dynasty” drew 6.3 million viewers to top the previous cable reality record set by “Trading Spaces” nearly 10 years ago.

A&E is certainly striking while the iron is hot, as this is the fourth season of “Duck Dynasty” even though the show first premiered less than 18 months ago.

When it bowed in March 2012, it drew a ho-hum 1.81 million viewers, but that increased with its second season in October of last year (3.94 million) and then more than doubled when it opened season three in February of this year (8.62 million).

The third season of “Duck Dynasty” averaged 8.4 million total viewers, up 95% compared to season two. It is cable’s top reality program this year, and the No. 2 original series overall, behind only AMC juggernaut “The Walking Dead.”

Thanks in large part to “Duck Dynasty,” A&E ranked among the top five cable networks in both adults 18-49 and 25-54 for the second quarter of this year — rising 17% in both categories — while placing sixth in total viewers (up 19%).

“Duck Dynasty” was far and away the No. 1 program in all categories, including adults 18-49 (7.51 million or 5.9 rating) and total viewers (13 million), according to live-plus 7 Nielsen data.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 280

Leave a Reply

280 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. nick says:

    Willie’s a liberal, news flash saps.

  2. angie white says:

    You listed all rataings for every age group…. But you forgot to mention……..the 60 and over group. I am 78 and LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS WHOLESOME F A M I L Y Don’t forget us ..PLEASE COUNT US IN RATINGS. Thanks. (HI SI !)

  3. Bill says:

    Just goes to show ya , America may be changing , liberal media is not going to like this at all. lol

  4. RobertEngler says:

    Happy happy happy. Besides, a wholesome family whose lives include guns and God annoys all the right people. And that’s a fact, Jack!

  5. G. says:

    $250 K per episode. They need a raise!!!

  6. sui winn says:

    Total trash =
    plus more trash – preg. and dating, etc.
    No cost trash TV..

    • Danny says:

      Awww, poor little sui winn. Yea, you’re right. TV shows that net 11.8 million viewers and top ratings are trash. You’re just pissed because you want it to suck…and it doesn’t.

  7. Lavern B. says:

    Lawdy-Lawd, how I love this show!

    …and I’m a Christian who also happens to be a black, 60 year-old, female.

    I agree with others who say it’s so refreshing to tune in to a TV program that is funny, clean and promotes family values.

    Stay true to yourselves Robertson Family – I pray continued success and blessings.

  8. Julia Shivers says:

    The real star in Duck Dynasty is Jesus the Robertson family are not afraid of admitting they know him, love, and believe in him and most of all follow him. God bless The Robertson Family.

    • Rich says:

      Julia, You said it right. Love that. To be honest, I don’t normally like “reality” shows, but the last 3 minutes of this show more than make up for all the cornball jokes. I’ll be watching this one for as long as they’re on the air. Hollywood, take note. Clean family entertainment. No fear of Christianity. I dare you to keep it going. Good job Robertson’s… God Bless!!!

    • Maruta Lazdins says:

      Just watching the show can make me feel happy when I’m feeling down…true people, leading a God fearing life. Bless you all!

  9. Robert says:

    This reminds me of the South Park episode where they are diving to find how low the bar has been lowered. ..Sign o the times

    • Jan Thompson says:

      It’s a good “sign of the times”. To the left’s surprise they didn’t have to dive down as far this time…the bar has gone up.

  10. olecap says:

    If you don’t believe that certain factions of the Hollywood Dynasty (and/or the media) aren’t sifting through the Robertson’s trash, looking to find a Paula Deen story, you’re fooling yourselves…

  11. What a great show . . . they (Jase and Jep) are coming to Troy, Michigan on Sunday, October 13th – hosted by Rochester College. Can’t wait to see a few of the “boys” live . . . .

  12. Michelle says:

    I love this show because of the RELIGION AND GUNS!!! And because they stuck up for their rights and I WOULD VOTE FOR THEM!!!!!

  13. Cathy Bryan says:

    The only thing I don’t like is the commercials advertising other A&E shows…It’s hard to believe that the same TV executives who decided to produce Duck Dynasty are chasing off this massive audience with the other trash they show.

  14. tpc4545 says:

    If we, has a country, don’t STOP electing the same life long politicians, we are going to loose all of our rights what these people do(duck dynasty) or what we do, will be history.America look around you, get away from the MSM ( they are lying to you) there are hundreds of web site that tell the whole truth,to what is going onion this country and it’s not pretty!. WE, HAS A COUNTRY, NEEDS TO SEND A STRONG MESSAGE THIS MID TERM ELECTION! THESE LIFE LONG POLITICIANS, ARE DESTROYING OUR WAY OF LIFE!

  15. A.Men says:

    Love Duck Dynasty. No obomba propaganda. Funny, and clean with God Bless America.

  16. Lucinda Harden says:

    The best show on TV! It proves it doesn’t have to be filled with profanity half naked people to be good. The best thing about the family is that they will not change their family beliefs and values to be the number one show. Happy, Happy, Happy!

  17. Vasco DeGama says:

    hmmmm, let’s see, what…could…make…this…so…successful???? could it be because it’s a show about a close knit, basically normal (looks aside) SELF MADE successful family enjoying their lives in ways that the average American viewer might be able to relate to? NAH, couldn’t be that….

  18. The popularity of the show is attributed to the Robinson’s Family and their refusal to take prayer out of the show.

  19. dawn says:

    Good, it’s about time someone offered TV that Americans actually want to watch, with a sense of morality, real family values (not those Hollywood has decided for us) and people of real faith.
    I get so tired of those with no faith base trying to depict faith issues and have no concept of they are doing, as a result lead people into darkness.
    Yea, for Duck Dynasty. We wish you continued success

  20. Kummin says:

    Never seen it, never will.

  21. Julienne says:

    And guess what…you can watch the show without having any animosity towards the shows stars, because they’re not telling you what to think, what to eat, who to support, etc-etc. Liberal Stars in general need to learn to keep their mouths shut, otherwise they too (like Sean Penn) will lose their audience.

  22. henrirt says:

    Jesus and shotguns rule!

  23. nancydrew says:

    …the show is so entertaining….unlike most reality shows! That’s why we like it…it’s just plain fun to watch.

    • Julienne says:

      And…you can watch the show without having any animosity towards the shows stars, because they’re not telling you what to think, what to eat, who to support, etc-etc. Liberal Stars in general need to learn to keep their mouths shut, otherwise they too (like Sean Penn) will lose their audience.

  24. john middleton says:

    I only recently learned that my family (Burneys from Vivian, Louisiana) are related to the Robertsons, and now understand the down in the gut familiarity I feel when I watch DD. For sure, in my youth, the hard-working men didn’t sport chest-length beards, but they all would sooner lay down and die than accept anything that resembled charity. God, family, country and all the rest were priorities in that order. It’s something that this country craves, and doesn’t realize it. They only know–when they are exposed to it–that life with real values and close family ties is what they are missing. I’m cynical that the entertainment moguls will react positively. I suspect we’ll see a Possum Posse, that includes a family of misfits and perverts led by a lesbian former roller derby couple. Who knows?

  25. Steve says:

    #1…..and why not? It’s funny, it’s about family….and it’s CLEAN!!!! Everything the major networks are NOT.

    Go Robertsons!!!!!

  26. Delores Oliver says:

    Thank God for this.

  27. Ralph Martin says:

    Ok ive lived half my life in the south between Tennessee and Arkansas, i basically lived around these kinds of folks all my life and i honestly dont get the draw to watch this show. Maybe cause to me its like watching your neighbors. Maybe these guys can change peoples minds about country folks but i doubt it. Im sure all the city people are looking down their noses and laughing as the “poor stupid rednecks” but good for the rednecks i hope they make ridiculous amounts of money off these people.

    • Justin Green says:

      The draw for many is the fact that it’s a mildly funny show that embraces some rather decent family values, as opposed to most of the other reality TV shows and sitcoms, which embrace chaos, hatred, bickering, homosexuality, foul language, etc., etc.

  28. Beau says:

    I just wish A&E would’nt advertise all the other loser series during Duck Dynasty. They are scaring my children.

    • Beau says:

      No matter how much they advertise them, people who watch Duck Dynasty are not going to watch those shows. You think they would figure that out.

  29. TexanBelle says:

    Excuse me. I object to your use of the term “redneck” at the beginning of this article. When non-rednecks use the term it’s the same as a non-black using the “n” word. It’s not allowed and it’s offensive. Get off your high horse and stop looking down your nose at the bitter clingers. We’re laughing all the way to the bank.

    • Marc Howell says:

      As a redneck I am offended by you being offended by the offensive use of the R word. I always find it offensive when blacks are offended by offenders offensively using the n word and it’s offensively more offending when a non-offender is offended by a truly non offensive use of a potentially offensive word that is not even intentionally offensive. So, quit being defensive

  30. Bill Drake says:

    Minority report: I don’t watch the show for one reason. Although all involved have the right to treat our Nation’s Flag any way they want; I can’t watch a show that uses the Flag as a wrap-around headdress.
    I find that disrespectful.

    • WM native says:

      Willie has stated several times (not on the show though) to make the point it is Not a flag.

    • Cathy Bryan says:

      Too bad you don’t get it…Willie wearing the flag means that our flag is seen in almost every scene…it’s a nice change. You should watch just to hear the dialog and get a better feel for the spirit of the show. Especially Phil’s commentary…he’s the father (who has his masters degree in education but decided he’d rather hunt).

    • zhago says:

      I do watch and love the show, but yes, the Stars and Stripes aren’t to be worn , it is an actual code : no different than not letting it touch the ground, displayed at night without a spotlight, displayed when tattered or dirty, etc

    • Nate says:

      yeah. We should all garb ourselves in items that are completely meaningless and mundane. Shut up and get in line Duck Dynasty! Unless it is clothing with big corporate logos. That is ok.

  31. Wander says:

    I recently was recommended this show as the antidote to the corruption in our society. It works like a charm. Remember how it used to be when family mattered, God, mattered, there was right and wrong. If Hollywood wants to get out of its blues, they show study why this show is such a success.

  32. Pure Fluff says:

    Reblogged this on Pure Fluff.

  33. Victor says:

    Hmm… G-rated movies ALWAYS make money, and wholesome television shows draw huge audiences.

    You’d think some bright boy or girl in Hollywood would connect the dots to a formula for consistent profits.

  34. Tom says:

    Sandy is right. And not only can the family watch it together, they can laugh together for the whole show. Not since “Dukes of Hazzard” has this combination been possible for the “Whole Family.”

  35. BT says:

    I love this show because it is wholesome and very entertaining. I think we all miss shows that the whole family can watch together.

  36. sandy says:

    It’s a family show….how many shows can the entire family sit down and watch together these days????

  37. Bob says:

    While the liberal intelligentsia on the coasts scratch their heads to figure out the allure, normal real Americans appreciate decency, wholesomeness, & morality. No filth, no cursing, no pornography, no immorality… Just a normal, albeit rich & goofy, American family. The liberals cannot fathom a couple being in a 48 year long traditional heterosexual marriage. It ruins their narrative. Guns & God bother the immoral liberal types, but “flyover” America loves seeing decent, clean, moral “reality” TV even when scripted. At least it is free of cursing & filth, unlike most other TV.

  38. Tony Ward says:

    White gun toting long haired country boys with a number one show. Democrats have to be wetting their panties.

  39. I JUST LOVE THIS DOWN TO EARTH SHOW.

  40. Maisy says:

    I grew up on Little House on the Prairie, The Waltons, Family Ties, Growing Pains, The Cosby Show, etc etc. All family programs. I have not watched sitcoms ib years because they are mindless, full of sex and language and just pure crap.

    I am no prude – I can watch some of the crappiest and horrid movies out there. However, the sitcom has always been targeted to families and is on during a time when children are still up. They are targeted at children.

    It is so refreshing to have a show with a family that is safe to watch with your entire family.

    Their saying grace over dinner and Phil’s many refererences to being a Christian is awesome. It is my understanding that they wanted the show on Wednesday nights to air a little later so as not to distrupt church night for many.

    Awesome.

  41. john w says:

    The appeal, NO Hollywed filth, or shoved liberal diversity programing.

  42. Mike@Tallapoosa Ga. says:

    GOD, Guns & Ducks ! America Loves ’em! No foul language, No sex, No liberalism !

  43. Cara says:

    Are you paying attention – all of you television mogul types? No teenage sexually eager, booze swilling filthy mouthed morons on the D.D. show Your audience which includes me are fed up with what you have been shoving at us. Hopefully you understand

  44. Headly says:

    Love this show, from a new york.

  45. Deb says:

    I just hope they stay the same. Fame can be a slippery slope. I pray they can keep their family in tact, as I heard the daughter just got a job on the cat walk in New York as a model. Modeling tends to be a job thats hard to keep your life in proper balance.

  46. quackpatterson says:

    Agree with all the Duck Lovers out there. I like that it is wholesome. Doesn’t bother me that it is obviously scripted (Needs to be scripted in order to develop and resolve a simple plot in under 30 min.). I don’t even like hunting, but the Robertson’s act like normal wacky people: not drugged out, cussed out, passed out, give-me-a-handout wacky people. They have typical family problems and dynamics that everyone can relate to (sibbling rivalry, no one wants to work, marital frustrations/quirks, etc). That loser who plays rehabbing Sherlock Holmes is hardly unique or interesting. You could watch ten other shows that portray someone just like Holmes. ALL of the people on DD are their own person and there is no one else on TV that is like them. Most other shows on TV feature very effeminate men (Grey’s Anatomy, Big Bang Theory, Friends, etc). The masculine tough guy had been killed and forgotten for the most part, but DD have revived him. We need more men who act like they have a pair and have good values.

  47. Joe Shmoe says:

    Happy, happy, happy good to see a clean wholesome show, I think we are starving for good moral shows, without a bunch
    of perverts, and sex , drugs, and profanity, this is an example Hollow-wood needs to learn! Glad so many junk movies are bombing at the box office, they are trash. Love the bible, guns and religion aspect@

    • WrenchMan951 says:

      I just wish 11.8 Million people took the time to get involved and informed about what the heck is going on in this country. Just think if that many people tuned into Mark Levin show or read his books or read the Drudge Report!

  48. Joleen North says:

    Happy, happy, happy!!!

    • john w says:

      Frau Blumreich,
      All in the eye mind of the receipent. What you may find funny may not be funny to 11.5 million other people. Diversity, if one does it then do it? It is a seller because it is simple down to earth real, no filth is the big seller over all. Yes there is a America that is not crazy about pop culture and the lack of education, caring for one another, lack of respect and the pop culture hollyweed on display. I think the 11.5 Million will grow as more become aware of the show. So look at it from; it appeals to a lot of people , now the big one WHY? So instead of being negative ask your self WHY, but really why?

More TV News from Variety

Loading