Duck Dynasty returned to lower viewership than its previous two premieres after Phil Robertson controversy in December.
Duck Dynasty Season 5 premiere had 8.5 million viewers. That’s huge for a cable reality show, but down 28% from its record-setting fourth season debut in August (11.8 million). It’s also slightly down from the show’s Season 3 premiere in February 2013 (8.6 million).
A&E notes the number up slightly from the fourth season finale on October 23.
Duck Dynasty provoked a heated controversy in December after Phil Robertson criticize gays during a GQ magazine interview, as well as made inflammatory comments about blacks during the Civil Rights era.
Last night’s episode and most of the rest of the current season was shot before the controversy. Presumably because of the controversy, the Robertson clan and producers were not made available for media interviews to promote the new season.
Duck Dynasty came back the same night as Fox’s American Idol, which was also down.
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