A&E’s ‘Duck Dynasty’ Falls to Lowest Ratings Since 2012

Duck Dynasty Ratings

Tune in down nearly 2 million week-to-week

It’s unclear how big of a role its recent controversy played, but A&E’s record-setting reality show “Duck Dynasty” appears to be cooling off in the ratings.

One week after returning to kick off its fifth season with a 3.3 rating in adults 18-49 and 8.5 million viewers overall, “Duck Dynasty” slid to a 2.9 in the demo and 6.65 million total viewers, according to Nielsen. This is the smallest same-night crowd for an original episode of the series since the second-season finale drew 6.45 million in December 2012.

The show, which was embroiled in controversy over the holidays due to derogatory comments about gays and others made by family patriarch Phil Robertson, peaked with its fourth-season premiere last August (5.0 demo rating, 11.77 million viewers overall) — the largest audience for a nonfiction series telecast in cable history.

“Duck Dynasty” also holds the cable reality record in adults 25-54 (6.3 million), topping the mark set by “Trading Spaces” nearly 10 years earlier. The only cable reality show to ever draw more adults 18-49 than last summer’s “Duck Dynasty” premiere was TLC’s “Jon & Kate” in June 2009 (6.5 million).

Last year among all cable series, only AMC’s “The Walking Dead” did better in reaching adults 18-49.

“Duck,” though, seemed to be cooling toward the tail end of last season, falling below 8 million a couple of times before closing with 8.4 million. Last week’s fifth-season premiere ratings were lower than many expected, but above where the show closed last season and nearly on par with its winter bow of 2013.

Among all programs on Wednesday, “Duck Dynasty” ranked behind only Fox’s “American Idol” and ABC’s “Modern Family” in adults 18-49.

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  1. Jeffrey Colburn says:

    Actually… I don’t know if there has been a really entertaining show since Willie’s kids went to the dentist!

  2. Jeffrey Colburn says:

    Frankly, I think the reason that the ratings are down is that the shows late last year and this year just aren’t that good….. I’ve watched them all and thought most of them were pretty boaring. Also, A&E plays the re-runs to death which takes any freshness from the new shows away. It’s like A&E is trying to kill the show by overplay…

  3. Southsider1 says:

    Most people who watched the first two seasons of their show had no idea that their family were full of bigots. After hearing their father speak so poorly of homosexuals and blacks I swear I will never watch another minute of their program. And by the looks of their ratings many, many more people feel the same way that I do.

  4. Vicki Keller says:

    I just want to see the Glades and love Longmire

  5. RobD381 says:

    “Derogatory comments” about gays (going to hell) and “others” (blacks would like to go back to slavery).
    ???? I think an even handed description of their sins against Mankind would be a bit more harsh, in my opinion. Sooner or later Americans do finally come around and treat these “comments” with the judgment they deserve and move away from the haters.

  6. Norman says:

    If they are losing ratings , could be because the content of the show is becoming boring, it appears to be the same over and over, I think they are in a rut about subject matter. I find myself turning to other shows after the 1st five minutes especially if its a repeat, and there are lots of them. Possibly need better writers because they are humorous and entertaining and the “yuppie city wives” well, what can I say!!! Remember the humor of Darma and Greg?

  7. Well it looks like they Ducked them selves, but those with the affliction of religion do so all the time.

  8. mike helbert says:

    Yay!!! I hope that they lose all of their backing and have to go off the air.

  9. lisa says:

    it’s about time… what an affront to intelligence. We don’t need any more of this. It’s time for “reality TV” to fade away… into “immediately”

  10. Natasha says:

    Here’s the thing: even if it were a mythical boycott of A&E that is doing the damage, who is it really hurting in the end? A&E will be fine. They’re making money with or without Duck Dynasty. And you know, if it were about a boycott, it wouldn’t have started off with over 8.5 million and then dropped to 6.5 million a week later. Boycotts mean you don’t watch at all. Besides that, between all the Duck Dynasty pages there were only a couple million likes. You can pretend your views are “mainstream” if you want, but gay marriage is consistently polling over 50% support, even according to Fox News. It doesn’t matter what you do, it will be legal, and discrimination will be against the law. Good luck with your boycott. Meanwhile in Virginia, Oklahoma, Utah, Ohio, Texas, West Virginia, Kentucky, Florida, etc… lawsuits are pending. Enjoy that thought.

    • Typical DC BS says:

      Right Natasha. Keep dreaming. Nobody cares about gay marriage enough to get riled up except for gay morons and religious kooks, both FAR OUTSIDE society’s norms.

      • Natasha A&Es ratings have dropped due to Christians boycotting A&E. I love the way the Media is only reporting Duck Dynasty’s ratings. A&E the network across the board has lost ratings to the whole network. A&E knows why their ratings have declined and that is why they are looking for more reality “CHRISTIAN TALENT”. They want to get the Anti-Christian label off them. They are not stupid at A&E they know 70% of the country is still Christian based. You don’t see them looking for GAY TALENT do you? Use your head , they didn’t lose Gay , politically correct liberal viewers , those types did not watch it in the first place.What they did lose is Christian viewers. If A&E had it to do all over again , im sure they wished they would have said nothing and not suspended Phil.

  11. Greg says:

    People protesting A&E’s reaction rather than Phil’s “speech”.

  12. Jingkebob says:

    I watch the show from time to time. I support all their positions but for me the show gets real stupid very fast. I expect new viewers tuned it after the publicity, watched it a time or two and then dropped out.

  13. ASHLEY FAYE says:


  14. tony says:

    And every producer in Hollywood would love to have those numbers…..Non story …3 million people were without power that same night in the north east….Break that number down of who was watching what?

    • bob smith says:

      3 million people represents less than 1% of the US population. And people in the Northeast aren’t the main demographic of the show. Do the math: the power outage couldn’t possibly have accounted for the dropoff from last year of 4 million viewers the first week, and another 2 million viewers the second week.

  15. Barry S. says:

    I think the headline should read “I Guess Viewers were not Kidding about Boycotting A&E.”

  16. MaryP says:

    I think the ratings tank is more due to the pic circulating on the web of what these guys looked like prior to the show as opposed to what anyone said.

    • hephaestion says:

      Yes, when people learn how phony the Duck Dynasty people are, pretty much everyone will quit watching it. The sheer stupidity and obvious phoniness of the show should be enough to kill the show, but obviously there are some mighty stupid folks out there.

  17. Jimi K says:

    Christians gives Christianity a terrible name… You are nothing but disgusting hypocrites that created some of the worst genocide in world history. There is no love in your religion, just judgement, racism(KKK), bigotry, murder, greed; nothing of what Jesus taught. Jesus is cool, the followers however are terrible people.

  18. Hiram says:

    Put Korie in a push up and some Daisy Dukes and wallah! Back in the saddle again ;-)

  19. Mark Brandt says:

    We support Duck Dynasty. I wish we could watch an a different channel. I don’t support A&E.

  20. Matt says:

    If they would just get back to guys hunting, talking, competing and in the great outdoors and not the silly, ridiculous crap it would be popular again. Somebody done sissified dem boys.

  21. Get_A_Clue says:

    Correction to the story:
    “The show, which was embroiled in controversy over the holidays due to derogatory comments about gays and others made by family patriarch Phil Robertson”

    Should be:
    A&E was embroiled in controversy after it suspended family patriarch Phil Robertson.

    Duck Dynasty viewers decided to “suspend” A&E by not watching.

    Prediction: The Walking Dead will also be down when it resumes in February. It will be just like Duck Dynasty, high for the mid-season premier and then start tailing off. A&E showed its true colors and good folks are choosing other forms of entertainment.

  22. 8packabs says:

    The lower ratings are due to boycotting A&E, not a drop in the show’s popularity. The Robertsons were successful long before they showed up on TV. But of people continue advertising their own stupidity with condescending criticism of a half BILLION dollar family business, just because it’s a Christian family with long beards. What kind of idiot chooses to disregard another person’s legitimate success and wealth as “fake”, just because they personally aren’t interested in the type of business that person does, and the lifestyle they live?

  23. lcky9 says:

    That’s from the idiots who are still boycotting A&E in hopes that they will cancel DD and someone else will pick them up.. I watched both weeks .. HOWEVER that is the ONLY show I will watch on A&E.. My biggest problem with the show is Willie AND his wife hobnobbing with some people I would prefer they not be seen with since these people don’t represent their families morals and values

  24. The majic is gone, the curtain has been pulled back and they turn out to be just clever businessmen who grew beards as a part of their TV scheme. It’s over, now we know it’s just a performance, too bad.

  25. AFITgrad86 says:

    And the lower ratings have nothing to do with the fact the episodes are all reruns? I would wait for the new season before making any conclusions.

    • Cranky53 says:

      It started last week. The lower ratings are caused by the three gay persons who stopped watching and the millions who are still boycotting A&E.

  26. Levy Octune says:

    People that love show said they will boycott A&E.
    For all you haters don’t read into the ratings…BoycottAETV

    @BoycottAETV https://twitter.com/BoycottAETV

  27. Greg says:

    Duck Dynasty is an A&E logo. The Robertson’s own Duck Commander. Buying DD merchandise supports A&E, yes, the boys will get a cut, but A&E gets some too.

  28. Jason says:

    Show sucks to begin with. Maybe that’s why people aren’t watching it. Funny I don’t see any celebrities sticking up for free speech here, why ? Cuz gays and blacks buy music etc like anyone else. Such hypocritical nonsense. The show is too contrived. His comments were obviously out of line according to many yet Hollywood this time stays away. Jay z you busy ? Stevie wonder ? Bruce Springsteen ? All bs. All of you.

  29. Tel says:

    How is their merchandise selling? Guess we know who got the support.

  30. realoldguy says:

    Yessir! Nothing says “Christian values” quite like killing birds!

  31. Carol Shelton says:

    I wish they would tell A&E what they could do and go to another network.

  32. Blow Joe says:

    It is not that I do not watch DD anymore, I do not watch ANYTHING on A&E anymore. A&E showed me it is an anti-Christian, anti-American channel and I will not watch anything on that network ever again.

  33. Tel says:

    Boycotting A&E!

  34. Brian Wilkin says:

    As long as A&E is affiliated with DD, I will no longer watch it.

  35. Swoosie says:

    The show is stupid. The controversy was real. The patriarch of the family is a bigot. People sense his hatred guised in bible babble. The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Good riddance.

  36. Gene mallig says:

    You don’t think the fact that the new season of American Idol just starting, with no Randy Jackson, might have something to do with it since they’re in the same time slot?

    • Dick Tracy says:

      Only a moron would watch this show anyway. Everything is staged, not reality. They all have two or three camera in their faces 24/7. Shows like this are for low IQ hillbillies.

  37. D says:

    Two reasons for ratings decline: 1. They re-run episodes 25/8/366 — you never know when the new shows are on. So, you stop watching. 2. As others have posted, scripting has become very obvious. What a shame. It was a good show.

  38. gessiewtf says:

    The reason the ratings are down is because it is so obviously scripted now. Season 1 was fantastic.

  39. Mike says:

    It’s not Duck Dynasty that people aren’t watching it’s A&E.

  40. Royce Williams says:

    The flip flop by A&E following the Duck Dynasty debacle was too little too late. The initial decision to suspend Phil Robertson is something many previously loyal viewers will never forgive and forget. There is and will remain a significant number of former viewers who left and will never return as long as the show is on a network that chose championing the LGBT cause over the mainstream values of Duck Dynasty fans, and those fans have voted with their remotes and caused a “Dixie Chicked” ratings decline.

  41. Doofus says:

    Moved to 1:00 AM time slot by bigots at A&E

  42. Guarddog says:

    In the meantime MSNBC got about 135,000 viewers and is doing just fine.

  43. Mark Fogleman says:

    Its scripted more now than ever. No longer funny. Hollywood types have no idea what rednecks are like and don’t understand them, so what they write is just plain stupid.

  44. Jim says:

    Our family is boycotting A&E not the duck hunters! Someone should survey A&Es overall numbers and you will see what is going on. Move DD to another channel we do miss it.


  46. Dave says:

    Could it be because it show really rich folks doing stupid things week after wee while at the same time grubbing for more money? Or could it be that A&E runs the same 25 or 26 shows end to end ALL THE TIME! I think folks are just getting bored with them

  47. Debbie Herdon says:

    I can do without Kori and kids. Would like to see more of Missy and kids

  48. Rick James says:

    they got their GEDs and moved on. when the real DD revealed themselves americans got disgusted and moved on.

  49. was dean says:

    I’m sure this has nothing to do with the fact that A&E quit advertising Duck Dynasty everywhere. No one even knew the new season was upon us.

  50. timedonkey says:

    The Ducks have lost their quack. Folks used to think that they were just Hillbillies with some money, now they realize that ole Phil, when asked any important questions, barfs out the old religious clap trap, replete with zombie racism. I bet that he thinks God put him on TV. The only thing that can save the ducks is to start talking about marijuana.

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