Everyone here knows — because you’re sophisticated, intelligent, and informed television viewers who skip past the Alison Brie GIFs and read Warming Glow for the articles — that The Walking Dead and Sons of Anarchy regularly whip network television’s ass in the ratings. In fact, on many weeks, in the 18-49 demo, The Walking Dead is the top rated show on ALL of television. But there’s another show, not too far below Sons of Anarchy in the ratings, on A&E that’s also besting much of network television on Wednesday nights. It’s not a show about pawn shops, hoarders, or parking tickets, either.
The show is called Duck Dynasty, and honest to God, until I read this article on Variety, I’d never heard of the show. The thing about DVRs and streaming media is that, in addition to avoiding commercials, for many of us, channel flipping is also increasingly a thing of the past, unless it’s 3 a.m., and you’re drunk. So, I’m rarely exposed to television shows that I don’t seek out, or that we don’t discuss on television blogs. Duck Dynasty fits into the category, yet there are millions of others who watch this show. In fact, in the 18-49 demographic, it’s besting both Nashville and Chicago Fire on the networks. Last Wednesday, it was the second highest rated show on all of television, behind only CSI.
I have never heard of it. On the entire Uproxx network of sites, it’s only ever been mentioned twice, by Robopanda paraphrasing Joel McHale’s robot impression of Michael Fassbender’s character in Prometheus on Talk Soup, and in one “What’s On Tonight” listing. Best I can tell, it’s a reality version of Beverly Hillbillies, about a redneck Louisiana family, the Robertsons, who struck it rich when the family began selling duck calls. I guess the show is about the Robertsons’ inability to balance work and pleasure; they have a multi-million dollar organization, but all they want to do is hunt. And eat. And skin things. According to the family patriarch, Phil Robertson, the most important quality in a woman is her ability to cook.