Is ‘Duck Dynasty’ paying the price for patriarch Phil Robertson’s controversial interview with GQ magazine or are loyal Robertson fans punishing A & E for its brief suspension of the family’s leader?
Ratings for Wednesday night’s fifth season premiere, which was the first new episode since the remarks led to a firestorm of criticism, were down 3.3 million from last summer’s record-breaking season four launch but on par with last winter’s premiere.
That show was seen by 11.8 million viewers, a record for the reality series on A & E.
Some experts had even expected a ‘scandal bump’ increase in the show’s ratings.
They thought supporters would turn out in large numbers as a response to A & E’s decision to briefly suspend Robertson over his comments on homosexuality and racism.
Retail chains have tried to cash in on the controversy with new displays of ‘Duck Dynasty’ merchandise.