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. ounceoflogic says:

    I’m glad to see A&E has lost viewership (and money) due to their disgusting display of political correctness in the case of Phil Robertson. The network needs Duck Dynasty far more than the Robertsons need A&E.

  2. djm159 says:

    Maybe someone finally watched the show and realized other than family values there isn’t much there. I doubt this is brought about by Phil’s truth telling in not defending the gay activist’s deviant lifestyle and gay marriage and giving up his beliefs. Of course A&E will only report what they want and obviously deviant lifestyles are the norm there.

  3. Chris says:

    I support the Robertsons and their values, but I stopped watching this week not because of controversies but because the show is getting boring and repetitive.

    How many times can we see Grandpa Phil frustrated because the yuppie grand kids don’t like fishing? How many times can we see Willie put his foot in his mouth or Si acting like Fred Sanford?

    Those “I Am Second” videos proved the Robertsons are way more interesting in their real reality than they are with any clichéd sitcom storylines a scriptwriter hands them.

  4. philabias says:

    i will not watch again until they either leave A&E or QA&E publicly appoligizes to all christian americans and make rules that never allow this kind of discrimanation again! i love D&D but i will not watch on A&E. ever!

  5. Michael Anthony says:

    Typical uneducated DD viewer. I hope the next time you fly, you find out if hour pilot is gay. You certainly wouldn’t Wang to risk your life. Or if you or a loved are critically injured and in hospital ER. Will you a hussy fit or allow their lives to be saved! It would serve you right if the pilot kicked you off the flight and the doctors refused to treat.

  6. Midia says:

    It’s not to Phil’s so called controversial comments the ratings dropped, Mt. Kissell. It was AE’s reaction.

    • Michael Anthony says:

      Then what’s the reason ratings have been trending down over the last 6 months or so?
      A/E will absolutely survive this while DD will not. Notice the overabundance of DD merchandise in clearance? And get a look at the trailer folks buying it! LOL!

  7. Michael Anthony says:

    Many of these comments show not only the ugliness of the average DD viewer, but also their lack of education. Those who are “boycotting” A/E until DD is moved to another network have a long wait. DD is owned by A/E, boy the family. They bolt and so does the DD name.

    I predict in a year or so that DD will be history. Its losing viewers. Because the vast majority of Americans don’t support trash or hypocrites. If the Robertsonrs are so God loving and already wealthy, why act contrite and stay with the show? I guess they like the dollar more then God. Typical.

    • YouCanCallMeJoe says:

      Enter the DD viewer expert, Michael Anthony.
      1) You may want to look up the word “hypocrite”, clearly your PhD isn’t in English language.
      2) I find it odd you make these sweeping generalizations about a group of viewers, and Americans and complain about others being less tolerant. Again, time to revisit the word Hypocrite.
      Do you honestly believe that left leaning liberals, and card carrying members of GLADD were watching DD and their withdrawal is the reason for the decline in ratings, because if you do.. that is laughable. That’s as implausible as PETA being a sponsor of Duck Dynasty.
      The Robertson family doesn’t need A&E, their family business Duck Commander/Buck Commander keeps them earning 40+ million per year.
      Obviously, you have no idea who, nor what the family was before the show and base your “expert opinion” solely from the television show. I guess you like to espouse your opinions as fact, and present an edict as the voice of reason because you’re a tolerant, open minded, supporter of fairness liberal .. typical.

  8. incog99 says:

    Actually, I’ve never seen the show. Never seen M.A.S.H. either but I don’t waste my time much on television.

  9. Dennis says:

    I had only seen a couple episodes before the GQ interview statements hit the wire. My not watching since then is in response to A&E’s original reaction. I don’t want to contribute to the network that tried to silence one set of opinions. Bigger fan than before but will have to wait till my watching the show doesn’t benefit the silencers. QUACK!

  10. Hal says:

    Nothing to do with the boycott of A&E by the viewers?

    Let them move to another network

  11. Jay says:

    Or… it could be that there are so many damn reruns of the show on all damn day that people forget to watch the new episode. Ducked out…

  12. Philby says:

    No one is watching DD until they move off of AnE.

    It’s obvious.

    • the schwartz says:

      Love DD and would be watching it right now. BUT, I’m waiting for it to move to another broadcaster. A&E has been blocked in my household.

  13. Rose says:

    ew. Who the hell is watching American Idol anymore?

  14. Robert Veite says:

    Duh, nobody likes or supports A&E. Plain and simple. Would love to see the show retooled and on another channel. CMT or something along those lines. I will not watch anything on A&E now.

  15. Hombre says:

    Aren’t they going up against a revitalized American Idol?

  16. Jan Rich says:

    There is a difference in hating what they might do, and hating homosexuals. The point Phil made when answering the question in the interview. He was stating Biblical points, or suggesting doing right over wrong.
    Re: this year’s shows, many available being shown are 2012 shows. I am over 60, just started viewing toward the end of 2013. Enjoy most of the show…except the few words Willy doesn’t seem to know are offensive/nasty to some.

  17. DD has lower ratings because people are boycotting A&E. It’s that simple but the MSM is looking to place the reason on DD and not themselves and A&E.

  18. VeritasyCandor says:

    You lost me immediately with the false charge “derogatory.” Shame on your dishonesty and hatred and intolerance for what some may consider biblical literalism. Grow up already. Not everyone who believe homosexuality is a literal sin also hates homosexuals. Duh!

  19. Winger says:

    Well, I have found the site where true ignorance lies….

  20. Peanut says:

    The DD folks are doing just fine.

  21. tony says:

    They’ve run out of things to say. In this pop culture society they are running longer than i expected..

    • Good, f**k them! What a worthless show and a waste of time that could be spent being with your family.

      • VeritasyCandor says:

        Was that a reply or a teenage rant? Grow up. I can’t stand the show (personally), but it obviously strikes a chord for millions — and I guarantee you they don’t use the F word for effect.

  22. FKousac says:

    LOL! Nobody cares about the regressive, homophobic and racist low-life country club republicans. But the reason they’re failing isn’t because they’re ignorant. It’s because their core audience of poor white trash found out they’re really spoiled rich preppie country club republicans, who are only “christian” when the camera is on. Good riddance.

    • Jan Rich says:

      Foolish comment with no understanding of the viewers or the program.

    • Oh joy another comment from a religious bigot who preaches tolerance as long as people agree with him. It’s great how you even fail to comprehend that comments made by Phil Robertson.

      I also love that you somehow label him a racist simply for talking about his life experiences while actually working in a cotton field as manual labor.

  23. dan says:

    Easy to explain, and it isn’t the recent controversy. There is someone new writing script, or editing it for the show, and video editing is different. Lines are more forced, less natural, and sometimes too corny or awkward….and the quick, silly video clips between scenes are amateurish and sometimes I’m embarrassed for the cast. What they had going worked, someone thought they were improving the show but took it in the wrong direction.

  24. Cristy Waugh says:

    Nothing against Duck Dynasty but after what A&E did I will not support them no matter what their programming is.

  25. nexalist says:

    A&E has been running it non stop for weeks. A bit of overkill.

  26. me3tv says:

    Just too much exposure. After some rest and cool off, it may crank back up. People like it but how long can any given reality show go given the same people and message?

  27. John says:

    It will continue to go down as long as A&E feels it necessary to control every single aspect of the show, instead of letting the Robertsons be themselves.

  28. bob says:

    Forget the world and that they have been made available through some chicken nuggets

  29. “comments about gays and others”

    Wait, so African Americans and under-age girls are just “others” now? These fake hillbillies aren’t just homophobic, they’re racist and perverted too. The fact that anybody is still watching them at all is an indictment of our society,

    • LaughterJones says:

      Why are you so intolerant of others beliefs? Since you are in the name calling business, looks like you are an intolerant, religious bigot, who failed comprehension of Phil’s statements. So much for a big tent. Maybe Maddow is on TV, so you can go get some talking points and come back later.

      • tigress_with_the_truth says:

        Great posts! My thoughts exactly! If we don’t agree we them then we are bigots, racists, haters, pedophiles, etc. The only people gays do like are those that agree to their lifestyle. Sorry, but it’s not going to happen. Don’t hate the person, hate the sin,!

  30. N37BU6 says:

    Who cares? It peaked, obviously… that’s what happens. Peak, then crash. Another flash in the pan. One more piece of low quality programming on its way out, soon to be replaced. A&E (and television in general) in a nutshell.

  31. vcb-tn says:

    A&E?, I’m only seeing reruns for the fifth time?, premiere wed. 1-29-14?

  32. duck’s lowest ratings are how much higher than MSNBC,CBS,ABC,CNN and NBC?

  33. MC Squared says:

    The writer fails to recognize that Duck Dynasty has been running non-stop, every night this week…Collectively it probably is being watched more than any other show on cable.

  34. JiminAZ says:

    I don’t think viewers are rejecting the show. I think they’re resisting what’s-its-network.

  35. awm7353 says:

    I think it has to do with people noticing that it is scripted. The first couple of seasons it was not noticeable, although I noticed Willie was producer, which clued me then that it was scripted. People tuned in thinking this was how things really were, that it was “reality”. Once the fakeness sets in, people move on.

  36. alternet09 says:

    I love DD, but now refuse to tune into A&E. It is a shame DD ratings have to suffer because of A&E.

  37. jack says:

    The show simply wears it self out, I can’t sit through any more episodes & the little time I do watch TV I don’t want to watch Duck Dynasty. Their views matter not to me

  38. John Burnett says:

    I do not watch “reality” shows. Nothing “real” about them, they are staged like the idiotic phony wrestling shows. I have a life, I don’t care about them. I cancelled my cable TV at the first of the year anyway. My life is better without all the noise and nonsense. I generally do not care about the rich or famous. They are generally dysfunctional big mouth’s wanting attention, and generally have nothing to offer. However, from what I know of the family, I am in their corner. They are the type that will hold the country together, if possible, from disintegration by the liberal jackasses that make fun of the morals that made America great.

  39. MadCharles says:

    The ink is dry on the agreement I guess it’s the ducks turn to screw A & E and not give a crap about the ratings.
    welcome home Si.
    rvn70/71

  40. Metalman says:

    The people who were watching it before are no longer watching A&E. The boycot is in effect.

    • Bogus says:

      I dumped my satellite package with A&E when they first booted Phil. I have not added it back. Hence, it is a loss of viewership for A&E as a whole. It’s does NOT translate into a political statement against DD, as many in the press would love to report.

      • aarong says:

        Thanks ladies. With you bigots not watching your show it will soon be removed. Then we don’t have to have fake yuppies dressed up like rednecks on tv. Thank you for helping to get this “christian” show off tv.

    • Or just like all reality TV it’s stupid & fake.

  41. jo says:

    I hope the show dies as soon as possible. I hate that A&E gave in to the whinny “Christians” that their freedom of speech was being taken away. Shows like DD and those DD people are stains on social evolution. Our country is damaged enough from Christian Fundamentalists so the sooner all these ignorant haters get off my television the better.

    • Gert says:

      Ahh…more “tolerance” from the left…I hear a lot more hate coming from YOU. Do you feel that way about “other” religions too or just Christians? Hey, if you don’t like what they have to say, change the channel. I don’t like hearing Ed Schultz call Laura Ingraham a “talk sl*t” either but he’s MSNBC’s definition of journalism so…I change the channel. You can do the same. We ALL have voices in this country (for a little while, anyway), whether you agree with them or not. As for Christians having “damaged” this country as you assert…follow the money trail and you’ll find out where this country went wrong. I assure you, it WON”T lead back to the Christian Church…

    • bob says:

      That is not only

  42. Guest User says:

    Saw this coming. Soon enough the show will be cancelled. The show is trash regardless, so it will most likely be forgetten

  43. mikeinsa says:

    We started watching DD on Netflix during the big fuss. It seems we should have been watching all along. Except for being millionaires, the Robertsons are just like most people I know.

    A&E has shown itself to be more suited to the wine and cheese crowd. I think it would be unlikely they score a hit like this again. The History Channel or TLC could make a show like this work.

  44. Brad U says:

    I love it when people comment that have never watched the show and know absolutely nothing about it or the people on it. This show is one of the funniest and most wholesome on television. And where do the braindead liberal sycophants on here get the idea that Phil endorses pedophilia? From MSNBC, CNN or one of the alphabets I would assume. And BTW, this liberal rag has it all wrong, too. The ratings are down because millions of people are boycotting A&E due to the way they knee jerked reacted to Phil’s comments. If they looked at the other A&E shows I’m sure they would see a ratings drop on all of them.

    • reedp938 says:

      He’s a misogynist and that’s always been obvious, so not terribly wholesome there.
      They pretend to be dumber than they are. That’s not exactly wholesome.

      Oh, and “Phil’s comments” were hate speech. Anti-gay, mostly, but there was also racism. And misogyny, of course. That is quite ANTI-wholesome.
      It would have been irresponsible to let him back on the air… which, oh, they did.
      They knee-jerk reacted to your whining, and they GAVE YOU WHAT YOU WANTED, despite the fact that doing so was quite morally repugnant.
      You’re boycotting them for doing what you wanted.

      And I thought y’all thought that boycotting was a violation of freedom of speech, or some such nonsense? That’s the whining that comes about whenever a bigoted business is boycotted for, y’know, actually doing something to harm customers/employees.

  45. R says:

    I’ve seen the same thing posted in other comment sections, that people are ticked off at A & E over their failure to defend Phil’s right to speak his biblical mind in America AND that people are angry at A & E for reacting to the sentiments of the Bible as if it is THAT which is vulgar and lacking in virtue while they celebrate more decadent activity.

    • reedp938 says:

      I have no idea what you’re trying to say…

      Anyway, quoting the Bible doesn’t automatically make everything you say okay–and it wouldn’t even if we were living in a theocracy where everybody was required to like the Bible. Satan has been known to quote the Bible. Also Robertson said more things than just quoting the Bible.
      People did not get upset because he quoted the Bible. It had a bit more to do with all the hate speech.
      Frankly, as a Christian, I am quite offended by all the people who equate hate speech and quoting the Bible as though they are exactly the same thing. …Is that what you were trying to do? I think that’s what you were trying to do.

  46. Joe Smith says:

    The reason for ratings drop is not due to the politically correct BS I see on this comment page.
    I’m a hater of acts, not beliefs.
    The shows ratings dropped because we want A&E to die. Let it sink into the slime with the progressives of the world. Hopefully Duck can get to a more balanced network, one that doesn’t drop it’s drawers, grab its ankles, and twitter with glee at the sight of GLAAD members.

  47. Stephen Bradshaw says:

    I will watch em again on another channel. A&E is no longer on at my house. I wonder how the other shows are doing. I’ll miss 48 hours too.

  48. Smooth says:

    I bet A&E learned a big lesson. Even if you do what the viewers want and bring this racist homophobe back, they will turn on you and not watch. I bet the next time they take him off he won’t be back. Thanks viewers, lesson learned.

  49. Strategerist says:

    People are still upset at the A & E network or the way they treated Phil Robertson. The show would do fine again on another network.

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