Burning Question: How Did 'Duck Dynasty' Become Such a Huge Hit This Year?
The cast of A&E's ‘Duck Dynasty’
I know, right? You’d think that the entire country settled in for deep-fried crawdad-stuffed mallards thisThanksgiving instead of turkey, the way the Robertson family has taken over American culture. And by “taken over,” I mean this: record-setting ratings, such as the 11.8 million folks who tuned in to "Duck Dynasty's" fourth season premiere earlier this year. (That one episode became the No. 1 nonfiction series telecast in the entire history of cable tee-vee, and also claimed more members of the coveted young-adult demographic that night than, well, anythin’.)
The mania over all things "Duck Dynasty" has spread beyond just TV, though. The Robertson family has done it all this year: guest stints on late-night talk shows and sitcoms; greeting cards; book deals; a wine line; a Christmas album and loads of gimmickry from headphones to coolers to rain boots to child-size ATVs — wrapped in camouflage, of course. The family’s Louisiana hometown of West Monroe has even seen a boost in tourism, just because of, essentially, four guys and their very entertaining family-business dealings.
In all, we’re talking a $400 million brand here, chilluns. (Get thee to Walmart or Target if you want to see just how huge "Duck Dynasty" really is.)
Why all the fuss?
Analysts credit the series’ not-so-obvious universality: The Robertsons may seem like a bunch of bush-bearded hayseeds, but their look belies a bunch of quick wits — or maybe just very smart reality producers — and the kind of multi-generational story that attracts city slickers just as well as bread-basket Americans.
Willie, Godwin and Jase in the "Duck Dynasty" Halloween special Wednesday, October 23 at 10PM ET/PT.
According to social media research firm Fizziology, most of the online conversation about last week’s show came not from the South, but rather Los Angeles and the Big Apple.