A&E's Duck Dynasty reality series started in 2010, and the Robertson family has built their audience over the past four years from the first season's 1.8 million viewers to last week's premiere record-setting audience. National Review Online's Lee Habeeb writes about the show's stunning popularity:
The backwoods reality show Duck Dynasty drew 11.8 million viewers, which happens to be the most ever for a nonfiction telecast on cable television.
It’s also 8 million more viewers than the season-five premiere of Mad Men.
It’s nearly 6 million more than this year’s premiere of Breaking Bad.
And it’s almost 3 million more than the finale of The Good Wife.
So what is Duck Dynasty's secret?
It’s simple. Duck Dynasty didn’t spring from the head of some screenwriter in New York or Los Angeles. It isn’t dark or cynical or ironic. It’s earthy and optimistic and light-hearted and funny, like the Robertson family itself. Like America itself.