‘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.

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  1. Joe Shmoe says:

    As Sy, would say, “That’s the facts, Jack”.

  2. AnnieM says:

    All isn’t about A&E or awards or what network has the best execs …….Soon the grasp of the controllers will be forcibly relaxed…..and the PEOPLE will decide what happens next….Pure individual capitalism cannot survive when only a few succeed….the PEOPLE will not allow it…..this is why the founders of our CONSTITUTION gave us so many avenues to remain a free nation!

  3. Dr. Fitz says:

    Funny, funny, funny! Leave the brain behind, and yeah, its loosely scripted. Doesn’t matter.

  4. AnnieM says:

    Today I saw a colt running through a meadow. I had to stop and watch. He bolted through the grass standing up on his back legs then running without abandon. He stopped and a monarch butterfly lit on his nose, for several seconds he stood still. The mare, the colts mom, chortled a gentle whinny. The colt turned his head toward me and the butterfly flitted off and the colt kicked up and ran back towards the mare…….Where else can you stop and enjoy something this enjoyable?

  5. Craig L. Anderson says:

    I’m a duck hunter for real as were my grandfather’s and my father. They hunted w/Jimmie robinson professionally on the same heron Lake I hunt on and I know duck hunting. Those guys may make a marginal duck call but I haven’t seen any evidence what-so-ever they are duck hunters or even know how to set up a spread of decoys. Funny maybe but duck hunters not a chance!!!!

    • Catfish says:

      I guess those birds falling from the sky in a few of the episodes were hollywood props huh? Sour grapes and jealousy I’d say

      • Steve says:

        This isn’t a “duck hunting show”. It’s a show about a family that made a lot of money from selling duck calls and duck hunting products. I duck hunted with Phil Robertson in 1988 and can tell you “for a fact, Jack” he is as hard core a duck hunter as you will find. If you believe he isn’t, keep living in your make believe world. And by the way, you may not appreciate the Duck Commander duck calls, but the call is only as good as the caller.

    • Northlander says:

      No wonder they made multi-millions with their duck calls. You sound jealous.

    • Widgeon says:

      Seriously??? Have you ever watched their Duckmen series of hunting videos? They are about as hardcore duck hunters of any out there. Phil gave up a career in the NFL to hunt ducks!

  6. patty says:

    AMERICA loves clean family shows and here is the proof. No nudity and no 4 letter words and a big BIG HIT. No cheating or adultery and still a big hit. That tells the story. I hope that this great family will never change or change their family values. Great ‘CHRISTIAN’ family.. I love the show.

  7. AnnieM says:

    get back to the basics America or sink deeper into the anger and depression and victimization…..Many of us live, not in city/concrete villages, in the nature. Our lives are hard, we don’t have a quick fix near, but we are content.

  8. Brandon says:

    Funny how God-fearing southern Americans are number one in the ratings. I hope Hollywood will pay attention.
    Brandon
    Monroe, LA

    • Mark Smith says:

      I’m sure Hollywood is paying attention but you are fooling yourself if you think they will adjust thier programming to capture the demographic that follows DD. It’s more then likley they try to sabotage it’s success.

  9. More proof that Americans are yearning to get back to what made this country strong in the first place.

    • La Cigogne says:

      Perhaps, but the fact that America reelected as POTUS a Marxist who grew up in Indonesia is far stronger evidence that is not the case

      • Will says:

        La Cigogne, your statement would be on target if only the underlying assumption were correct. The American people were shielded from the real Obama by a media bent on smoothing over any Marxist or Socialist connections. That Obama was voted into office offers no accurate reflection of the electorate–your comment only serves to highlight your naivete. The pendulum has swung too far to the left and as Julianne indicated, Americans are indeed yearning to get back to basic traditional values.

  10. Jeffrey says:

    Their waterfowl calls really aren’t all that special…

    • Widgeon says:

      The Duck Picker (clear orange one) is one of the best calls in lower price bracket (sub $50) I’ve ever used, and I’ve used about everything. There others are quite good too. While there are many great calls and brands out there, the Duck Commander are excellent calls.

  11. David says:

    so is there a logic coated bullet that will kill stupidity

    • Noodles says:

      There is no cure for stupidity, but you probably don’t mean “stupidity.” You probably mean “ignorance” or maybe “foolishness.” Ignorance is countered with information. Foolishness is countered with wisdom. A good education will have both.

      It’s also possible that you’re saying, “This person doesn’t think like me, so he must be stupid.” While it is certainly possible that other people’s ideas are obectively worse than yours, it’s more likely that you simply disagree. It pays to get to know other people!

      Please remember that logic is only as good as its premise.

      • Noodles, that was the most clearly articulated explanation of the state of our country today that I’ve seen lately. Both sides are equally guilty of ignorant foolishness.

  12. Karen says:

    Go Ducks!! Best part of Louisiana !

  13. J. Poynor says:

    Proof that a show with actual family values, a love for the Our Almighty Lord and love for one another has appeal with a large population. I am astonished. Hmmm…. Maybe others should take notice and not cram all this other B.S. down our throats. Have a nice day.

  14. Susan says:

    That is more than 4-5 times the viewers that Oprah had before leaving her show.

  15. Tom says:

    I love DD. there were so many commercials, it was unwatchable.

  16. bruce says:

    Let’s see… no nudity, no sex, no vulgarity in general. Who would a thunk it? It’s a show you can watch with your kids, your parents, your best friends or total strangers for that matter, and not worry about content. Sophistication is over rated!

    • ssamjung says:

      Amen to that. It’s one of the few, if not only, reality TV show that actually shows people demonstrating values. All the other reality shows flaunt and glamorize the lowest values and behaviors in some twisted and distorted freak show of humanity.

  17. TJ says:

    Hollywood are you watching…clean and funny family entertainment, that’s what we want!

  18. TOOBAD S. SAD says:

    And they thought people wouldn’t watch good wholesome entertainment. Guess who’s laughing…………all the way to the bank.

  19. Dusty Dog says:

    I thought this show was going to be much of the same as other boring reality shows. Boy was I wrong! This show will drag you in and you won’t even know it. Yes, it may be scripted…or not…but that matters not. It is funny and you never know what they are going to do next. As a bonus, the family are Christians, love their family and even gives a prayer at dinner at the end of the show. I hope it keeps going for a long time.

  20. joe smith says:

    See what happens when you
    appeal to normal people.
    God, guns, normal marriage,
    hunting, fishing, keep work in its place,
    (work to live, not live to work)
    and 4WD pickup trucks.
    Happy, Happy, Happy.

    • john w says:

      Joe,
      Obama will have the FCC looking to get rid of it. Why the people like it and he can not stand it. NAACP will have to investigate right along with Holder of course. Something is wrong 11.8 million viewers.

  21. Robin says:

    Mark another one up for the support of family values.

  22. Dale says:

    another example of how far this culture has collapsed.

  23. ann says:

    The only reality show (not really…) that actually showcases a loving, functional family. It proves that a series can be a hit without smut, profanity, and slutty behavior. And it’s funny!

  24. Surprise, surprise — more Americans prefer wholesome reality shows. Who’d a thunk it? Did you notice the FX ad for their show Louis, Louis before you got the Duck article? Now that show is the exact opposite of wholesome!

  25. It’s the Walton’s, only with guns, ducks, and family Christian values as well! Go DD!

  26. Ray says:

    I enjoy the show but I wish it would come clean as to what it really is: a scripted tv show, not a reality show. Willie and Jase both have tried hard to shed their “city slicker” status and hide behind their facial hair. Sure it’s entertaining, but not much about this series is “real.”

    • Ron Davis says:

      also wasn’t much about “Leave it to Beaver” that was real – accept for the consistent application of morals and values, which many of us wish were more common than novel… and which provided the foundation of a popular family show.

    • Widgeon says:

      If you have ever watching their hunting videos (which they were making looooong before DD came along) you would know that how they are in the show is really how they are in actual life. Sure the show is scripted to a large degree, but it’s pretty true to the people I learned to love in watching their unscripted hunting shows.

    • I didn’t know about this show until I saw one of the lead actors as a guest on Fox’s The Five. He did say that the show is scripted and he also said however that the entire cast is pretty much like the show portrays, Christians, belief in marriage, independence, work etc. Now I have to look whether I can watch a repeat of the premiere, seems everybody is raving about it.

  27. Linda Rodriguez says:

    By far the best show ever, to have god fearing individuals with a sense of humor is awesome.
    Thank you to the Duck Dynasty Crew for keeping it real. ♥

  28. biffula says:

    All because of 2 letters: S and I

  29. Dennis Amnott says:

    Walked thru local WalMart today and there are Duck Dynasty books, book covers, CD’S…..just more DD stuff that I never thought I would see associated with a bunch of Rednecks.
    Got to make the Robertson family HAPPY..HAPPY..HAPPY.

  30. Elizabeth Miller says:

    I like this show because there is no nastiness, no swearing, and the pray as a family after each episode. I never watch reality t.v., but I am a huge fan of this show. My kids actually learn something in each episode. Thank you to the Robertson family and A&E for producing a show that can be watched by the entire family.!!!

  31. rm says:

    Only 11.8 million folks. Good point.

  32. The Mings only thought they were a dynasty.

    The Ducks are the real McCoy.

  33. Chad says:

    Let’s do the marketing math. 11.8 million sets of eyes. $200,000 COLLECTIVELY to the talent. A & E paid 1.7 cents for each viewer in talent compensation. They can then take that 11.8 million number and leverage astronomical rates for 30-second spots. Drulling advertisers will line up for miles for this viewer demographic. This is a heavily underpaid cast, despite recent renogotiations.

  34. dont audit me says:

    If I had a son he could have been just like those on duck dynasty.

  35. dont audit me says:

    It’s the only decent show that isn’t filled with garbage and immorality. I watched it anytime it was on when working at a hotel. don’t have A&E at home so look up clips on youtube.

  36. VJ says:

    Love this show so much! Way to go Ducks!!!!

  37. buster says:

    good show and every other word does not have to be bleeped out

  38. Vince says:

    Sorry, I just don’t get it. Ducks?? Really? We’re sinking fast.

  39. Scott Snider says:

    Just learned about the show about 4 months ago and love thanks Rush L. for turning me on to the show, Love the family and there Christian Values and they show it.

  40. Way to go Duckmen! DD is easily the best show on TV these days. By a mile.

  41. Luv u guys u r the greatest so original and funny, so AMERICAN!!!!!! Yeah

  42. Mijack says:

    Compare Duck Dynastys to the bossy women and whimpy men on the Kardashians. Duck Dynasty is so refreshing and I hope it returns the USA to a sensible country once again.

  43. Donna says:

    Happy,Happy,Happy. Love this show.

  44. PapaUmMaoMao says:

    DD is a lot of fun to watch, so this does not surprise me

  45. Abe says:

    God,Guns,and Grits,and they love America.

    How are those Hollywood blockbusters going?

    • Mike Cargile says:

      Funny you mention those “blockbusters”…the only ones that seem to be making ANY money are the ones based on superheroes (translated: moral characters with the super-human strength to impose that viewpoint). Combine that with the Duck numbers and you’d think they’d get a clue…but they won’t. A little known studio secret just between us…it’s not about the money or the numbers. It’s about a pagan, Godless ideology and a need to make the rest of us somehow feel comfortable with the idea of it.

  46. Jamesb says:

    In this era of being spied on by the Feds, Obama, the NSA, Obama, some feral Trayvon’s beating up a white kid for NOT buying dope from them, Obama, from the arrogance of the IRS, the lawlessness of Holder, wagging his finger in our face and peeing on the law – did I mention Obama? Frankly – I just want to get away. Far, far away…

    “Duck Dynasty” allows me to do that – as many have stated – it let’s me to get back to a good America, an America without the racial division, socialism and Leftist liars always in my face.

    It gives me HOPE – real hope – not false Obama “hope,” for the future.

  47. Listen SHEEPLE: Don’t judge people by the way they appear or speak. Some of the smartest people you could ever possibly meet might look pretty “stupid” on the outside. These guys know what they’re doing, and I applaud them for their tactics for becoming mufti-millionaires…

    • mike says:

      As a guy who grew up in small town and relocated and made a living in the big city and who regularly goes back to small towns hunting with local rednecks/farmers, I can tell you without hesitation, that many of these guys/gals are some of the shrewdest, wiliest and at times, nicest, people on the planet.

  48. Marcus Curtis says:

    There is still hope for America! Now we are cooking with peanut oil!

  49. wildbill6996 says:

    Love the show. Last night was one of the best …

  50. Margie says:

    Way to Ducks!

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