Has the phenomenon known as “Duck Dynasty” finally hit its pop-culture summit? Based on what we are seeing from it today, that is what it certainly appears to feel like. While the season 4 finale on Wednesday night drew a 3.5 rating in the 18-49 demographic and also 8.4 million viewers, this is a decline of over 3 million people from who were checking out the Robertson clan at the start of the year. For the past two seasons especially, it has felt like every finale and every premiere has brought a new record; this is the first time that there was a finale, and it felt like not everyone cared.
If we were to figure out a reason for the drop, though, we cannot really sit here and say that the days of duck calls on A&E are over anytime soon. Instead, we see the following reasons for why the show did not really pull in the buzz for what could have otherwise been a memorable Halloween special.
1. Competition – “Duck Dynasty” was up Wednesday against not just “CSI” and “Nashville,” but also the World Series, “American Horror Story,” and “Top Chef.” This is far more competition than it had early in the season, and this is hardly appointment viewing.
2. Overexposure – A&E runs this show a million times a week, and some of the early episodes may be constant reminders that the show itself was much better in the first two seasons than it is today. Also, all of the product lines and Walmart commercials makes you start to think that this show really has gone too corporate.
3. Fun Factor – The big challenge at this point for the show is to show us something new that they have not already, while at the same time keeping true to what the Robertston family would do if the cameras were not there. This is why we think that one or two more seasons really should be the cap for the show. It allows the family to go back to their normal lives before feeling like old news, and it gives us as viewers everything that we want to see.
With all of this being said, A&E is still doing cartwheels over this show’s ratings, and any network would be glad to be pulling a 3.5 Wednesday nights at 10:00 p.m. Eastern. From that standpoint, there’s no reason for the show to go away any time soon.
You can read our full review for the finale here, where you can see some more of the problems that are currently plaguing “Duck Dynasty” and keeping it from being a powerhouse.