Duck Dynasty, which took break in filming over the holidays, and for hunting season, starts shooting again Monday in West Monroe, Louisiana, The Monroe News-Star reports, as the “beardless brother” Al Roberston told the paper that the Roberston family at the heart of the show has moved on from the controversy over Phil Robertson’s disparaging comments about black people and African-Americans.
“We had a great meeting with A&E (executives) last week and feel like all of us are ready to move forward with the show,” the Duck Dynasty star said Friday. “The production crew came to town this week to begin scouting sites.”
While the family might be moving on, unfortunately for the show, so are viewers. The first two episodes of Season Five have suffered sizable dropoffs in viewership compared the the previous season.
While TV industry experts have been quick to attribute the fall-off to the Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Roberston and his comments which led to his brief suspension from the show, there could be other factors involved.
According to a New York Times analysis, Season Four of Duck Dynasty which aired in summer of 2013 faced far weaker competition from other shows at that time. The tougher TV lineup in January could play a major role in the ratings dip, the Times said.
Also, as the Times points out, despite the decreased ratings, “competitively, Duck Dynasty remains a powerhouse.”
In the 18-49 year demographic group prized by advertisers, Duck Dynasty still far outpaces all other cable TV programming. In the Thursday night time slot, despite Duck Dynasty‘s more limited audience due to its airing only on basic cable, not on “free” over-the-air TV, the show was topped only by the long-running CBS crime drama C.S.I., and no other show grabbed a better rating in the 18-49 group.
On Monday, the Robertson clan and the production crew for A&E which carries Duck Dynasty are set to begin filming the Season Five finale, then move into Season Six.
Al Roberston admitted that the family’s latest duck hunting expedition provided a welcome relief from the intense media attention surrounding the future of Duck Dynasty after Phil Robertson’s remarks.
“I think especially with what went on it was more important than ever to get away to the duck blind,” Al Roberston said, of the Duck Dynasty family. “It’s like a sanctuary for us — a refuge.”