Following anti-gay controversy, Duck Dynasty ratings slide to lowest in more than a year

Show loses nearly 2 million viewers from season premiere a week earlier

Following anti-gay controversy, Duck Dynasty ratings slide to lowest in more than a year
24 January 2014

Duck Dynasty’s ratings seem to be on a downhill slide.

Ratings for the second episode of the show’s fifth season were down by nearly 2 million viewers compared to the episode a week prior.

Those are the first two installments of the The A&E reality series to air since anti-gay comments made by cast member Phil Robertson surfaced in a GQ interview last month.

He was briefly suspended from the show.

According to the Nielsen ratings service, 6.65 million viewers saw this week’s episode – the lowest number for a non-rerun of Duck Dynasty since December 2012.

The fifth season premiere was seen last week by 8.5 million viewers – a 28% drop from the record-setting fourth season premiere last August.

The show about about a family that has made a fortune from its duck hunting products has had two seasons per year.

Illustrating a drop in ratings is this: the fourth season premiere episode had a record 11.8 million viewers and the third season premiere attracted 8.6 million viewers last February, according to Entertainment Weekly.

But the show remains solid with adults 18-49, the demographic advertisers most covet.  Among all US programs on Wednesday (22 January), the show ranked behind only Fox’s American Idol and ABC’s Modern Family in that age group.

Robertson will not be missing from any episodes of the show this season. He was briefly suspended from the show by A&E following furor over anti-gay comments he made in the GQ interview.

A&E had initially expressed ‘disappointment’ in Robertson’s comments and quickly distanced itself from him. But they reversed their decision following fan protests with many defending Robertson’s right to free speech.

Robertson had said in part: ‘Women with women, men with men, they committed indecent acts with one another, and they received in themselves the due penalty for their perversions. … Gays and lesbians are ‘full of murder, envy, strife, hatred. They are insolent, arrogant, God-haters. They are heartless, they are faithless, they are senseless, they are ruthless.’

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Will ABC's Grey's Anatomy play out TV's first lesbian divorce?

The marriage of Callie and Arizona is rocked by infidelity
No thumbnail available

Ellen chats to the trans male model that could be on the cover of Men's Health

Aydian Dowling reveals what it was like to have to come out twice
No thumbnail available

New LGBT choir to sing in celebration for gay marriage in England and Wales

London’s newest LGBT chamber choir will celebrate the new gay marriage law coming into force with a concert at the Old Finsbury Town Hall
No thumbnail available

Gay rights groups urge mayor to run for New Jersey governor

LGBT rights groups have urged Newark’s mayor Cory Booker to run for the post of New Jersey state governor
No thumbnail available

Straights 'want to wash' after contact with gays

Researchers have discovered that even some people who consider themselves to not be homophobic still think gay men can 'contaminate' them
No thumbnail available

Miami Beach Gay Pride names Gloria Estefan, Kenny Ortega 2014 Grand Marshals

The Grammy-grabbing salsa queen and the Dirty Dancing choreographer will lead the 13 April parade, expected to attract nearly 100,000 attendees
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Founder of UK schools banning gay ‘promotion’ likens same-sex marriage to incest

Christian millionaire who chairs governors at three academies banning ‘promotion of homosexuality’ says gays shouldn’t marry as their sex ‘organs’ can’t be ‘joined’
No thumbnail available

Lady Gaga leaks photos of new Vogue cover

Wearing a dress by Marc Jacobs and hair honoring Ru Paul, Lady Gaga tweets: 'totally channeling fozzibear'.
No thumbnail available

HomoLAB 50

Ep50! Our Golden Jubilee Episode! This week we talk to Warhol Superstar Penny Arcade about her show in London.