August 15th, 2013
03:09 PM ET
"Duck Dynasty" continues to paddle in the waters of success.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the A & E reality series broke records with its return on Wednesday night as the most-watched non-fiction series telecast in cable TV history. The 11.8 million that tuned in to watch season four of the continued adventures of The Robertson family, who own a duck call manufacturing business, was a 37 percent increase from those who watched the season three premiere.
While it may sound like an unusual concept for a series, USA Today says "Duck Dynasty" is designed as a modern-day sitcom with a rich cast of characters including patriarch and duck-call creator Phil; his wife Kay and sons Willie, the CEO; Jase, who makes the duck calls but would rather be hunting or fishing; and Jep; and Phil's offbeat brother, Si."
Slate asked "Is This America's Best Family Sitcom?" in a piece that points out the Robertsons seem to totally grasp that part of the allure of their show is their abject "otherness"- from the massive beards many of the male family members sport to their down home existence in their native Louisiana Bayou.
"Duck Dynasty has a nearly frictionless relationship with exploitation—as in, you do not watch it and think anyone is being exploited—an extremely rare feat for any reality show, but especially one about the personal lives of its protagonists," the article states. "Duck Dynasty offers the best of both TV worlds: As with a sitcom, you can watch without feeling any creeping ickiness at the lives being upended or mocked for your entertainment. And as with a reality show, you can enjoy genuinely idiosyncratic individuals who are too specific—too Southern, too Christian, too into their guns, too hairy, too rich—ever to appear in a sitcom."
The family is reaping almost sitcom-like profits from the series also with reports that they are now earning more than $200,000 an episode.
What did you think of the return of "Duck Dynasty?"
About this blog
Our daily cheat-sheet for breaking celebrity news, Hollywood buzz and your pop-culture obsessions.