Variety was the first to report on the impending cancellation of Duck Dynasty, the series that brought the unlikely millionaires, The Robertsons into our homes. The show was an instant hit among “middle America” with its focus on God, Family and Business. They’re the Kardashians in camo.
Willie Robertson, the CEO of Duck Commander, the business started in a wooden shack by his father, took the Reality TV as a marketing strategy using their time on A&E to expand the business and the brand. They started out with duck calls and decoys, now you can find their merchandise in hunting supply stores as well as in fashion departments.
Patriarch Phil Robertson became a lightening rod to the left when he openly criticized gay marriage amongst other things. Robertson made it clear he wasn’t backing down, and the ratings would indicate none of their viewers ever wanted him to.
The Robertsons represent in many ways the idealized conservative family, with beards. They work hard, they play hard and they like to blow things up. From frog leg hunting at their country club golf course to rubbing elbows with NASCAR legends, Willie and the family brought “Red State” voters front and center. Unashamed. As it should be. In return, America fell in love.
“Duck Dynasty” premiered in March 2012 and quickly became a pop culture phenomenon, ranking as the most-watched nonfiction series in cable TV history. The show still remains the top show on A&E among total viewers
Critics in the media would have never thought that Duck Dynasty would last this long, or encourage so many to tune in, yet the reason for the cancellation seems to come from the family, not the lack of interest.
Ending the show was a joint decision between the cast and the network. Knowing that the series would be coming to an end, the Robertson family decided to make the announcement at the top of the new season so that fans could enjoy the final episodes and the “Duck Dynasty” holiday specials.
The truth is being in the spotlight is difficult and this family has weather the storms better than most, they’re going to go out on top. We’ll miss The Robertsons but we’ll always have the re-runs, and the t-shirts and the hats, and the …you get the idea.
Duck Dynasty’s final season premiered this week on A&E.