In the world of scripted television reality shows, maintaining viewership from one season to the next can be a challenge. After peaking at nearly 12 million viewers during its fourth season premiere last September – the most-watched nonfiction telecast in cable history – A&E’s hit series Duck Dynasty dipped to 6 million viewers for the finale of its fifth season this spring.
While 6 million viewers is still impressive – and Duck Dynasty remains an enviable hit by cable standards, ranking #2 behind The Walking Dead – the jury is out on whether the decline was due to the controversy surrounding A&E’s suspension of star Phil Robertson for expressing his biblical views or if the show was simply growing stale with less-than-stellar writing.
As Duck Dynasty’s sixth season opens tonight – Wednesday, June 11 at 10 ET / 9 CT – we’ve taken a sneak peek at two of the upcoming episodes and are happy to report that the story quality seems to be up and predict that fans of the hit series will have a lot to look forward to this summer.
For example, in the “Band of Brothers” episode, the Duck Commander team grapples with rebranding the company logo. CEO Willie Robertson wants to hire a branding consultant to help with the process, but brother Jase pushes back and rallies his team to come up with a competing version of the Duck Commander logo. Meantime, Phil and his granddaughter, Bella, go on a hunt to find the benchmark elevation for area as part of an extra credit school project. Here, the segment titles are creatively clever and the story threads come together in the moral of the story – it takes teamwork to achieve benchmarks.
And in the “Hands on a Wood Chipper” episode, the playful antics of Uncle Si take center stage as neighbor Mountain Man hits Willie up for a donation to his radio show car give-away – but musters only enough for a wood chipper. Si and Willie do battle in a hilarious “hands on” contest that ultimately renders Willie defeated by his burrito-driven bowel functions. Meanwhile, Jep is shocked to learn that his eleven-year-old daughter, Lilly, has been asked out on her first date to play putt-putt golf – sending him into “over putt-tective parent” mode, determined to embarrass the lad until Jep discovers that he, too, loves to hunt. Moral of the story: learning to let go is one of life’s hardest lessons.
True to the Robertson family’s trademark, quirky humor, both episodes offer well-written, light-hearted and funny, faith-friendly fare for fans to enjoy with the whole family. There’s always a lesson to be learned and the meal-centered prayer at the end of each episode is earnest, heart-felt and made in the name of Jesus.
Check out the preview for Duck Dynasty Season 6 here and let us know what you think.