‘Duck Dynasty’ Producers on Leave at ITV Amid Fraud Investigation

Duck Dynasty
Jim Smeal/BEI/REX/Shutterstock

ITV has suspended Scott and Deirdre Gurney from their roles as heads of Gurney Productions, the company behind A&E’s “Duck Dynasty,” amid an investigation for fraud, Variety has learned.

Craig Armstrong, head of 5×5 Media, will serve as interim head of Gurney Productions.

“The board of Gurney Productions is currently in discussion with Scott and Deirdre Gurney about future arrangements with them,” a Gurney Productions spokesperson said in a statement. “Craig Armstrong has been appointed interim CEO of Gurney Productions. Craig is an Emmy award-winning producer whose credits include ‘King of the Nerds’ for TBS, CBS’s Survivor, and ABC’s ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’ and ‘Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.’ Craig, along with his producing partner Rick Ringbakk, is co-founder and co-CEO of 5×5 Media, which will continue to operate as before.”

ITV purchased a majority stake in Gurney Productions in 2012 for $40 million. No charges have been filed as part of an internal investigation involving alleged billing fraud related to Gurney shows.

The Gurneys serve as executive producers on “Duck Dynasty,” which at its peak was the most watched unscripted show in cable-television history. Among Gurney Productions’ other shows are VH1’s “Leann and Eddie,” TLC’s “Leah Remini: It’s All Relative,” and HGTV’s “Tiny House Builders.”

Armstrong issued the following memo to his staff:

As most of you have heard, the board that oversees Gurney Productions has placed Scott and Deirdre on a short, temporary leave of absence. Due to the nature of this leave of absence, we can not share all the specific details. What I can tell you is that Gurney Productions is a very important part of the ITV family and we are committed to help keep things running smoothly until the situation with Scott and Deirdre is resolved. There are several items we need to look into over the next couple of days so we may be asking some of you to sit down with me and legal counsel to answer some questions. Thank you in advance for your cooperation. Obviously, this is a little out of the ordinary and you may be tempted to start inquiring and drawing conclusions for yourselves, but I strongly recommend that you do not do so and direct any questions to ITV management.

So what does this mean for all of you? You should continue to operate “business as usual” but will be functioning under a new management team. Starting immediately, Scott and Deirdre are no longer responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Company. For the short-term, the Company will be overseen by Craig Armstrong who will be your interim CEO & Chris Valentini, ITV America COO. All questions, decisions and actions now come under the jurisdiction of Craig and Chris. I do want to remind you that it new management is in place immediately and all discussions around Gurney business must be directed to new management. As of today Scott and Deirdre no longer have legal oversight of Gurney Productions.

I do want to remind everyone that it is unlawful to circumvent the new management team or discuss internal operations with Scott and Deirdre. We will have a transition team stationed in LA and in the Louisiana office to assist with the changeover and to support all of you during the next few weeks. Attached please find the contact list noting phone numbers and email addresses as well as the org chart.

All this week we will be meeting with company personnel to ensure the continuation of the existing series currently in production and to get to know each one of you and a little bit about what you do here. If you have any questions please feel free to meet with me and anyone from the HR team and we should be able to answer any questions you may have.

We understand this is a lot to take in and certainly not an easy message for us to deliver but we ask that you keep an open mind. We would appreciate your help and cooperation to facilitate a smooth and seamless transition and please know that it is important for us to hear your thoughts and ideas to make this a great place to work.

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  1. Clever Trevor says:

    But other than being abusive, narcissistic, blood-sucking, demogogic, thieving, hillbilly, socialpathic ne’er do wells, they’re a lovely couple, yeah?

  2. Rip gurney says:

    All I remember from gurney office is scandals, yelling and kissing asses. The gurneys were a bunch of rich idiots. Deirdre and Scott just always yelled at each other across the office. Glad itv finally kicking them out, long overdue.

  3. HAHA Karma says:

    I am so glad this finally happen to them. All can say they had this coming to them. They are so crooked when it came down to business. They would used company cards for everything personal!!!! They had no souls and sucked the life out of everyone that worked for them. They had no business being part of television just a bunch of hillbillies that got rich with one show and milked it to the bone. Deirdre and Scott are vile people, I hope it all finally comes out and they are left broke out off their ass. Racist, sexist and no regard to employees that worked hard. Fired people that didn’t deserve it. Moved only friends up in higher positions. Paid interns were for only family friends. Assistants were tied to their desks with no lunch break. Scott was always on vacation and Deirdre didn’t care for anything just networks buying more shows and spending money on senseless items. Push those Gurney’s out of Hollywood!

  4. anon says:

    I could write a book on these two

  5. Bye Felicia says:

    I hope they do some really digging because there is much to be found about these two. They are real pieces of shit. Abusive, shady as fuck, definitely tons of illegal behind the scenes stuff to be found going many years back. The question is, how much does the network really want to know about this company that they’ve made tons of money from. A pair of scumbags the Gurneys.

  6. Buh By says:

    These two are the most vile humans on earth. From the violent public fights to the lying and threatening of lawsuits to anyone who stood up to them, they are most defiantly the industry’s trash mops. I have so many secrets on them, but here are a couple you can run with… I heard from a credible source that Deidre got her fake boobies and Scott got his hair plugs on the Duck Dynasty budget. (no joke) I know for a fact Scott bought boats for himself on show budgets and called them “chase boats” only to keep them for his fishing pleasure. Time to fry you losers, this is karma knocking for the mistreatment of over 200 people who’ve worked for you.

    • Buh Bye Bye Bye says:

      Is this the safe place where we share stories? I could have written your comment verbatim but I have so many of my own. Scott bought a boat and he billed it as a “chase boat” but he took it out fishing every day when we were supposed to be using it for filming. They had hidden cameras in the Sepulveda office and would record / watch the employees. They bought items for one of their build shows, sanded off the serial numbers, and pretended to have their “master craftsman” star make them. Then they planted those same items in their fake storage show. So basically two different networks paid three times over for the same items.

  7. Anon says:

    I’ve always stayed away from Gurney because of their reputation. And I’ll admit when I saw this I smiled reading the whole article. I am so effin sick of these reality production companies ripping everyone off and then be ass@$les to boot. There are so many others just like them and it’s about time they start getting outed. And you’re right, the networks need to be held responsible for doing business wih shady companies who rip people off and treat their employees like sh@t. I hope they lose their shirts!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Aw man, does that mean we no longer get to hear Scott scream “you stupid C*NT” at Dedre every day?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Couldn’t happen to a better company. I could write a book about all the shady, illegal, morally and legally reprehensible stuff that Scott and Deidre did on Duck Dynasty and their other shows..and that they got away with sinc Deidre is a lawyer. They loved to send those cease and desists to anyone who tried to speak up and say no to their illegal producing tactics. The most toxic, horrific environment in Hollywood. Here’s hoping some of their ex and current employees are brave enough to speak up and bury those shitheads.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Not shocking. Anyone who has worked at Gurney knows Scott and Deirdre have always been shady AF.

    • ChickensComeHomeToRoost says:

      Absolutely agree with first commenter. I worked with them for a very short period of time, realized how they run things and then got out quick. Gurney was the shadiest production company I’ve encountered. Any network who hired them should hold responsibility for them too. As they say, “sh@t rolls downhill”. However, the irony of hiring Craig Armstrong to take over is RICH. LOL.

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