News Gets Worse for Duck Dynasty: Ratings Continue to Plummet, Lowest Levels Since Season 2

duck-dynasty-sadThis probably isn’t exactly what the Robertson family thought was going to happen.  Following the ignorant interview Phil Robertson gave last month to GQ Magazine and his subsequent “suspension” from A&E (for about a week), tens of millions of Ducky Dynasty supporters rushed to the defense of Robertson and his “right to free speech.”

Even though our First Amendment only protects us from government prosecution, not repercussions we might be subjected to by private groups or employers for things we say.

Well, the general consensus many of his supporters (and advertisers) believed was that once the show began airing again, ratings would be through the roof.  I’ll even admit that I thought ratings would go up when I considered the general uptick in popularity with a “soaring” brand, coupled with the theory that Robertson supporters would tune in to support the show.

Except that’s not at all what’s happened.  The season premiere saw a 28 percent drop from the previous year garnering 8.5 million viewers, down from the nearly 12 million they had last January.

And it appears episode #2 didn’t fare any better.  The second episode for this new season saw viewership drop by about 21 percent to 6.65 million viewers – down from the 8.5 million from the week before.

Not only that, it was the show’s lowest rating in 13 months.

Perhaps this is all just a big coincidence, but I really don’t believe that it is.  Before Robertson’s interview went public, all evidence pointed to Duck Dynasty’s popularity continuing to rise.  Heck, I saw Duck Dynasty Christmas decorations and chocolate bars.  It really felt like they were taking over the world.  Everywhere you went, their merchandise seemed to be there.

So it doesn’t make any sense that suddenly the ratings for their show would just plummet.

I guess there is a price for ignorance after all.  But while the ratings are still respectable, don’t forget the power that advertisers have over shows.  Many key advertisers, already on the fence about advertising during Duck Dynasty due to Robertson’s comments, were probably banking on the show’s ratings increasing.  That clearly hasn’t happened.

The risk associated with ignoring the groups pushing them to drop Duck Dynasty might have seemed worth it when they anticipated record ratings, but since the exact opposite seems to be happening, I won’t be shocked at all to see several big advertisers pull out of advertising during the show.

If that does happen, the end of Duck Dynasty on A&E probably isn’t too far behind.  It’s definitely going to be an interesting situation to keep an eye on.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • Michael Siever

    One reason there might be a decline in the show’s ratings is because while the controversy was going on, people started finding out how fake and staged the show is. These guys aren’t even backwoods rednecks. They’re a bunch of yuppies disguising themselves as backwoods rednecks to appear more folksy to the common crowd. It worked for George W. Bush, the Damn Yankee who disguised himself as a native Proud Texan. Also, people may have been roped in because of the controversy of Phil getting suspended, but now that his suspension is over, they see no reason to continue supporting him. Why, it’s almost as if these viewers care more about the freedom to say hateful things against homosexuals without getting in trouble with your boss than they do about the person saying those hateful things.

    • Ralph Gagne

      Really!! damn Yankee??? you low life southern BOY!! get over the fact we “Yankees” kicked your ass!! holy shit.. nothing like living in the passed.. maybe its time us YANKEES sue you idiots.. and as far as George bush hes all yours!!!! GET A LIFE dumb ass

      • Michael Siever

        I can’t tell if you’re just trolling or if a Texan really needs to give a Yankee an ironic lecture on proper grammar, spelling, and syntax. Please tell me it’s the former…

      • gatorgirl59

        You must be a northern redneck?? Your response was idiotic and classless, maybe trying to act like your kin to the Robertsons?? And sue us for what??? And you did NOT KICK OUR ASS!!! You get a life dumb ass!!!

      • He’s no northern redneck. Northern Rednecks are pretty much the same as Southern Rednecks with a few regional differences in food and favorite past times.

      • Todd Heath

        Sarcasm just flies right over your head, doesn’t it?

      • This comment tells me that you do not know that there are Southerners and then there are Texans. I’m from the Midwest and even I know this.

        You’re the one who brings up the Civil War. There was no “ass-kicking”. Ass kicking implies that this was over quickly and decisively by the North and it was not. Any history of the Civil War will tell you this. It actually took the north a few years to get their act together and bring Grant to the eastern theatre. Ass kickings don’t go on for five years.

        If you’re going to bring up history, at least get the facts correct. Plus, it’s been 150 years and being resentful or a sore winner over an event that your great-great-great-great grandparents participated in is stupid.

      • Alec Stevens

        epic KK

      • SandyTodd

        This would be funny if not for the redneck on every corner who can’t get over Yankees being in their neighborhood and sees a treasonous flag of a defeated rebellion as a sign of enduring freedom.

      • mea_mark

        Your first comment using disqus and this is what you say? Are you real or are you paid to make people up north look stupid?

      • Ali Broome

        I wouldn’t say the North “kicked our ass” Mr. Gagne. WE just about kicked yours!! SUE us for what????? What a ridiculous comment to make. You apparently missed some English classes along with U.S. History!

      • Tom prrry onyt

        So did you, we do not need to use multiple “????” or “!!!!!” We are not three years old, you didn’t kick anyone’s ass, in fact I bet most of the people here came during the 20’s or 30’s, even if your family was here, congrats on being an ass about something that happened 150 years ago, over bullshit.

      • Sorry Ralph,,,Georgie Boy is from Kennebunkport. Hes all yours! And, its the PAST, not passed.

      • ChrisB

        You’re way out of control. He was probably on your side until you brought out the CRAZY. And don’t bother with the Yankee speech. I’m originally from NY.

    • gailillly

      I agree with everything you said up to the point of the Damn Yankee. We damn Yankees won the war and the south has never got over it. Some of them are still fighting it. I am glad this show has gone down in the ratings and hopefully they will be off the air.

  • Malissa Bishop

    I refuse to watch A&E even if Duck Dynasty is eventually cancelled. Can never watch a channel that fake and full of bigots!

    • gatorgirl59

      You are exactly right Malissa!!!

    • Pipercat

      The lineup alone makes that an easy proposition.

    • teambegan

      Because the rest of “reality” TV isn’t fake…and as for them being yuppies…you do realize all this pictures of them without beards were taken several several years ago. Are you telling me you haven’t changed in 5 years as a person?

      • Brando

        Yeah the pictures were taken several years ago, but that does little to defend the fact they pulled a “Larry the Cable Guy” and got famous and even more rich by playing their audience.. Also, ya might wanna look into how much of reality tv is indeed fake, fully- scripted garbage with maybe the exception of some of the stuff on Animal Planet. Though I wouldnt be surprised if somehow tv producers are trying to get newborn puppies and primates to read copy and act accordingly…..

    • Malooka

      I remember when A&E used to stand for Arts & Entertainment…

      • Bonta-kun

        And when R&B meant Rhythm & Blues.

      • TattooHero

        Remember when TLC meant The Learning Channel.

        Now, it’s the loony channel.

    • Avatar

      Amen to that.

  • Karen Simons

    I watched the last two episodes and it just is not interesting. Phil seemed bored and Jep was too rude and cocky. The storyline was limp…Did they lose their writers, or just their backwoods “charm”?

    • gatorgirl59

      The show has never really had a story line has it??? And your right the first two episodes this season are down right boring to me! I mean they took an exchange student in and when she comes home they want to know when she is leaving?? And then Willy hires Cory’s cousin as his right hand man?? This show is actually getting so stupid that I can’t bare to watch it anymore!!! And the backwoods “charm” was never there in the first place!!!

      • andie

        They took in the exchange student 10 years ago and she’s loved with them ever since. So really it was a daughter cunning home from college and the leaving thing i believe was meant to be funny. Which it wasn’t.

      • iandie

        Lived* coming*

      • gatorgirl59

        My point exactly! They are trying to be funny, but it was in very poor taste IMO!!!

  • drdem

    Maybe the hicks that watch the show can´t afford the cable bill because
    of the far right whackos they support taking away their jobs and sending
    them to china and cutting their veterans benefits and such . You have to be a real goofball to vote RAT publican and make under a million a year !

  • Sparks13

    Good riddance.

  • Cemetery Girl

    I’ve watched the show (actually, it was kind of entertaining), but I don’t think the big “Phil controversy” is the issue. Oh, it got people fired up for a week, but people move on. (Haven’t you seen the memes? Beiber was drunk driving!) I think that their rapid decline is because they went overboard. Their show is on A LOT! It seems like they’re constantly filling air time with it, when they’re not just doing a marathon. And we have reached a point where the merchandise is everywhere. I think Willy Robertson took some lessons from Gene Simmons on merchandising. You can get Duck Dynasty Chia pets. I will be shocked if they come out with official Duck Dynasty condoms (works for Kiss, but not the Robertson family image), but I wouldn’t be surprised it official Duck Dynasty coffins aren’t introduced soon. It is plain and simple over saturation. It was a flash in the pan reality show (a statement that even Phil has made) and because the public is being bombarded with Duck Dynasty the novelty is wearing off.

    • Amy Lynch

      The Robertson’s do not own the Duck Dynasty brand. Their brand is Duck Commander. The mass merchandising you see in the stores is compliments of A & E.

  • Karima Wahid

    fake fake fake good old southern boys pretending to be rednecks, Honey Booboo is a real redneck not these cow-faking boys

    • spacedchic00

      Sweetie, there is a difference between being a redneck and being white trash. Nobody on Honey BooBoo is the former.

      • gatorgirl59

        I have never understood why this Honey BooBoo show is even on tv. She is a spoiled little brat, and her family is beyond repulsive!! I have never watched it and NEVER will!! Off the air with this white trash!!!

      • Rodney Lawler

        What the hell not all of us white trash are like honey booboo white thrash has more to do with coming from the wrong side of the tracks and social economics than any thing else.And as poor white trash I am offended by the comparison .

      • spacedchic00

        Being poor or coming from the wrong side of the tracks doesn’t make you white trash. White trash can be rich, living in a mansion with money to burn or they can be poor, living in a one room shack without a dollar to their name. What makes a person white trash is how they conduct themselves. Don’t want to be white trash? It’s easy. Just have a little respect for yourself and for people around you.

      • gatorgirl59

        If I had young children I would never let them watch this spoiled rotten brat!! How they get on tv is beyond me!! This in my opinion is what I consider White Trash!!

    • Alec Stevens

      i thought she died of a heart attack

  • Heather smock

    Wow…ignorant rednecks aren’t so ignorant after all…

    • Pipercat

      Just sloppy…

  • Amy Lynch

    Actually has to do with people boycotting A & E for what they did, not Duck Dynasty.

    • TattooHero

      If they continue to boycott the network, the show will go off the air. It’s that simple.

  • Mickstertor

    I’m holding out hope that the ratings decline isn’t because of the stupid remarks the duck guy made – but rather because people are finally getting smarter and turning away from these stupid reality shows. The Kardashians are seeing a ratings slip these days too, from what I understand. There is so much REALLY good TV on these days – why are people wasting their time with this crap?

    • Alec Stevens

      because the good tv shows have words in them the rednecks don’t understand. It’s uppity language..

  • WilmRoget

    It is likely as well that the support was exaggerated, that “the tens of millions ” was a significantly smaller number of people posting over and over again and using multiple ids.

  • Karen Peters

    I still believe that Phils rant was set up as a publicity stunt to push their merchandise before Christmas. Prior to the “breaking news” DD merchandise was in the stores, but after this story broke the merchandise was front and center in every store I shopped at. Perhaps sells were down and they just needed a way to get Phil supporters to buy it up. What better way than to get his name out there for all to see.
    If that is the case, their stunt seem to have backfired instead.

  • Stexcat

    Everything is more contrived now. Early episodes were things a lot of us could relate to. The episode with Rebecca was pretty pointless and the one with Si and the “Helmet cam” was just plain stupid. Don’t feature Si, just keep him as a bit player at the very least.

  • bromeando

    Because it’s a dumb show and a waste of time.

  • Garland Baker

    still haven’t seen the show. not like i haven’t watched stupid reality shows before (i quite enjoyed ‘The Osbournes’ when it was on), but the duck people just don’t interest me.

  • Gabriel Gentile

    What I’d like to know is; What kind of person would START watching it as a result of the fallot… Who didn’t watch it until then, I mean?

  • rock

    lol man this site/these authors are just a bunch of haters. duck dynasty is a funny show and they’ve made more money than you so get over yourself, bleeding heart liberal. lol man oh man, people are just so full of hate. is what dude said a little archaic? yeh. was he malicious or derogatory? nah. chill out loser

    • TattooHero

      What he said was very derogatory. I’ll give you maybe not malicious, just plain ignorant, but it was derogatory.

      Why are you so concerned about how much money they’ve made? I don’t care about their wealth, but I do care about their influence on people.

      What Phil said did affect people in a negative way. Too bad you fail to see anything besides money.

      • rock

        lol, im not focused on the cash- im calling the author a hater little girl. oh? was that offensive? …but does it even matter? that’s the point- if people want to grunt and sway with the rest of the overly sensitive retards (GASP, also OFFENSIVE), then be my guest, meanwhile i’m going to keep perspective and realize that i personally still support gay rights (and gun rights, and against death penalty, and pro choice..and the million other things that make me, me), and keep the perspective (vocabulary word everybody hating on this dude needs to research 🙂 ) that other people may feel differently. if they’re not malicious then let bygones be bygones for cryin out loud.

        wise person once said ‘take someone for what they are- nothing more, nothing less’. dude is a redneck from a different generation, so certain things may come with the territory. he’s funny, they promote strong family values. he said something MOST americans may not agree with (at least i hope most dont), but he didnt say go out and kill ‘the gays’.. my god people. lol but hey, if you’re a spoiled first world person with no life… yeah, i guess it can be a big deal.

        …meanwhile, i’m going to enjoy life and not be a c*** about other people who dont deserve it. listen to pharrell’s ‘happy’ and it might put you in a better mood 🙂

        but eh im just a stranger on the internet, what do i know. lol people…. (headshakes…)

  • John

    The Dixie Chicks were ridiculed on stage for voicing their discontent with President Bush and the Iraq war. They were banned from country music stations across the US, and criticized by conservative talk show hosts for voicing their opinion. One fan even shouted at them to just “shut up and sing!” Where were the “protect free speech” people then? Why didn’t they rush to defend the Dixie Chicks like they rushed to defend Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty?

    • TattooHero

      They were banned by Clear Channel and that company owns a ton of radio stations.

      Many didn’t like what they said because they were in London doing a show when they said it. They talked bad about the President while being out of country. I suppose doing that while Bush was in office was a no-no. Not the case with Obama in the While House.

    • Sapphire Diamond

      very good point!

  • Jim Bean

    You wouldn’t think so many silly backwoods hillbilly redneck Christians would have reacted so badly to Phil’s comments – unless that’s the not the category of people who were watching.

  • shariten

    I want to address every one that keeps saying all reality shows are scripted. I work on TV and yes, all reality shows are scripted but Honey Boo Boo, the Kardashian’s, the Osborne’s are/were all shows about real people.
    Duck Dynasty is not even reality tv. It is basically a sitcom with characters played by people who are acting. These guys grew out their hair and beards to portray characters just the way Christian Bale gained 50 pounds for the movie American Hustle. The only real truths are that they are related and they do sell hunting equipment/duck callers.
    They created these characters for the show and the more people have learned this, the fewer people have turned in because it was as if their core audience found out that their Santa wasn’t real.

  • thedeprogrammer

    Maybe people are just getting tired of their cartoonish redneck schtick?

  • MiMg

    I’m SO glad their ratings are going DOWN, that’s what they get for being RACIST and HOMOPHOBIC!

  • White True Patriot

    Those are God’s chosen real Americans, not the jew nigger queers that have destroyed the country.

  • MaryAnn

    too bad…so sad….

  • MaryAnn

    For the last episode Phil runs off with a 12 yr old girl and has her pluck his ducks.