Season 4 of Duck Dynasty got underway on Wednesday night, following the resolution of a salary dispute that also locked in the Robertson clans for future seasons on A&E . It turns out the channel was smart to both offer more money to the Duck Dynasty clan and sign the group on for more episodes, as last’s night’s Season 4 premiere crushed in the ratings, breaking records at the network as well as breaking more general cable records.
The premiere episode for the new season brought in a whopping 11.8 million total viewers. Of those total viewers, 6.3 million were in the coveted 18-49 demographic. These numbers are pretty incredible, with
That many millions of viewers is on par with the numbers some of the highly rated network shows manage to bring in. Additionally, those numbers managed to crush the numbers the Season 3 finale of the series brought in. The Season 3 finale aired in April and broke records on A&E, pulling in 9.6 million total viewers—an increase of a million viewers up from that season's premiere. Those records were subsequently broken by last night’s Season 4 opener, and it looks like the ratings will only increase in the future.
This is probably a good thing for A&E, since the network is now shelling out a reported $200,000 an episode to be split between the various members of the Robertson family who appear on the show. Eccentric personalities from Uncle Si to Phil Robertson have certainly helped the show to bring in more viewers.
Last night’s episode was actually a really important episode, featuring the nuptials of clan head Phil Robertson and his partner of 50 years, Miss Kay, tied the knot. Before the ceremony, Si was tasked with distracting the veteran couple until the evening ceremony, which involved a "trip down memory lane." It’ll be hard to beat that plot in the coming weeks, but somehow I get the feeling Duck Dynasty hasn’t reached its ratings epoch, yet.
If you’d like to catch up on your favorite episodes of the series, A&E released Season on to DVD on August 6. Or you can catch new episodes when they air on A&E on Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET.