Will we see Duck Dynasty cancelled any time soon? The headlines all seem to be doom and gloom lately, with talk about the Season 6 ratings meaning that A&E is sure to pull the plug at any time. But are critics merely blustering about Duck Dynasty Season 7 being cancelled?
In a related report by The Inquisitr, the long beards of Duck Dynasty are about as famous as their namesakes, so can you imagine the guys putting flowers in their beards? If that idea doesn’t make you smile, then you may be happy to know that a Duck Commander hot sauce is in the works.
Some critics are saying the controversy surrounding Phil Robertson and his comments on homosexuality can be blamed for the supposed “crash and burn” of the Duck Dynasty ratings. But A&E executive vice president and general manager David McKillop believes this is not the case:
“It’s a strong, strong franchise and will continue for a number of years. I don’t think there’s any definitive proof that the controversy itself had an impact on the ratings. These things tend to burn very, very bright and then begin to settle into a plateau.”
Of course, A&E would not want to admit to any problems with their major money maker so you might suspect they would say something like this. But as it turns out the experts agree with this assessment.
For example, Jeffrey McCall, a media studies professor at DePauw University, says the show has already beaten expectations:
“These kinds of ‘reality’ shows based on unique or unusual people usually don’t have great staying power. Once viewers have seen the personalities and their lifestyles, the audiences tend to move along… ‘Duck Dynasty’ has already beaten the odds by getting into Season 6.”
The danger of having Duck Dynasty cancelled cannot be dismissed at first glance if you all you consider are the Nielsen ratings. The show peaked at around 11.8 million viewers last years and now the audience is apparently about one-third its former strength, which means the advertising revenue has dropped sharply. At the same time, McKillop revealed that advertisers did scrutinize the show more closely after Phil’s GQ comments came out, but none of them pulled their ads. According to McKillop, “that kind o speaks for itself.”
This is only part of the story since, as a reality TV show, the cost of production is drastically lower compared to most TV shows and a good chunk of the income comes from the $400 million in Duck Dynasty merchandise that was sold last year. Even if ad revenue drops the show is still generating money with products and Ira Mayer, the publisher of the Licensing Letter, says the situation is anything but normal:
“It’s not routine for any show to sell that level of merchandise. It had a huge following and a lot of word of mouth … Wal-Mart went in really strong.”
So, no, we won’t see Duck Dynasty cancelled any time soon. The Duck Dynasty Season 6 finale is coming up on August 13 and A&E has already certified that Duck Dynasty Season 7 will be released as planned. McKillop even revealed the company is considering doing a Duck Dynasty spinoff, so the family is likely to be “happy, happy, happy” for the long term.