It's not what you think. There is nothing wrong with your television. There really are a slew of redneck shows being broadcast now. And besides shows like "Redneck Island" and "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," there is the Mayberry-quaint show starring a bunch of Louisiana redneck millionaires called "Duck Dynasty." You know, the show with the guys with the beards.
And it looks like the beards have just about taken control of Wednesday night. Just ask Nielsen. They're the people who put together the ratings lists. And according to them, the Robertson clan have staked out a section of TV cable land for their own and look as if they're there to stay. And they just might be about to expand their holdings...
Back on Oct. 10, the second season of "Duck Dynasty" set a series-high record for viewers, according to Nielsen, pulling in 3.7 million for the first episode of the double-episode premiere. Then something unexpected occurred. The viewership picked up, jumping to 3.9 million for the 10:30 p.m. show.
In their second week, the Duck Commander crew and associates did even better, topping FX's hit "American Horror Story: Asylum," garnering 3.9 and 3.84 million to take the hour and become the No. 1 show on cable.
Although it slipped back behind "American Horror Story" the following week (then skipped the next week), the Louisiana duck call making family came back strong on Nov. 7.
And this past week? The bearded bayou boys (and non-bearded girls) not only set a series-high record for viewership on Wednesday with 4.3 million and 4.4 million viewers for the double episode, they also won the ratings war in every key demographic (they had one categories before but never across the board). "Duck Dynasty" truly was the No. 1 show on cable television.
But there was more good news for Phil, Si, Willie, Jase, and Miss Kay. In the key demo of adults aged 18-49, according to TV Guide, the redneck millionaires beat the regular network shows of "Nashville" (ABC) and "Chicago Fire" (NBC).
The Robertsons sure have come a long way from the series premiere in March, where they debuted with a respectable 1.6 million viewers.
Strange as it might sound, there seems to be something appealing about watching a family that doesn't curse, fight, or engage in hurtful behavior, because that's exactly what "Duck Dynasty" brings to the reality show conversation. They promise a show about God, family, and ducks -- in that order. Being headstrong, somewhat irresponsible, and always looking to find the adventure in just about everything, the show often moves into comedic territory.
“I think when the show began they thought, well you know we’ve got some crazy bearded guys, who made millions of dollars making duck calls, and they all have beautiful wives," Jase Robertson said in an interview with WJBF (Augusta, Ga.) in August. "Now this is a show. But when they got down there, they realized that we’re not going to change how we operate, and who we are. Now, we don’t mind making fun of each other and having a good time, but in the end it’s God, family, and ducks in that order."
The series, which is ten shows into a 26-episode season, has turned into ratings gold for AETV.
"Duck Dynasty" airs on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. (EST).
Take Home Message: It is a common theme touched on in each show, that a close relationship with one's family and one's God can lead to a fulfilling life. Being able to pursue a particular happiness -- duck hunting and its associated concerns -- is simply a bonus that has made the family strong as well.
(photo credit: AETV)