Duck Dynasty reality star family wants more money after its show tops the TV ratings on A&E. This means that Phil, Si, Jase and Willie Robertson is currently in a standoff with the network.
The family is generating the kind of ratings and social media chatter that blow away many of their prime-time counterparts, and now they want $200,000 per episode.
For the most part, “Duck Dynasty” is a warm and amusing saga about the Robertson family of Louisiana. It shattered A&E viewing records when it attracted 8.6 million viewers to its Season 3 opener a few weeks ago. Meanwhile, the show’s Facebook page has more than 4.2 million fans.
But wait a minute, why has a seemingly simple show about humble Southern folks who built their fortune on handmade duck calls resonated with so many people?
The show follows Duck Commander CEO Willie Robertson; his wife, Korie; his parents, Phil and Miss Kay; his brothers Jase and Jep; and Phil’s weird brother, Uncle Si. They aren’t exactly the Waltons, but they’re an affectionate, devout brood that works, plays and prays together.
Never is their familial bond more evident than at the end of each episode, when they gather around the dinner table, hold hands and give thanks.
“I would imagine that has great appeal to a lot of people who watch the show,” says Karen Cox, a history professor at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte and author of “Dreaming of Dixie: How the South Was Created in American Popular Culture.” “After all, who sits around the table these days?”
Amid the nation’s economic downturn, “Duck Dynasty” has touched a nerve with viewers who have become turned off by the gaudy, materialistic shenanigans of the “Real Housewives,” the Kardashians, et al.
And let’s not forget that the episodes generally have a sitcom structure, like the best scripted sitcoms, it contains a collection of interesting, diverse personalities.
Willie, for example, is a TV comedy staple — the exasperated boss, forever struggling to prevent his charges from goofing off. His brother Jase is a master of the deadpan wisecrack. Uncle Si is the cantankerous but lovable old coot who spouts his hilarious homespun brand of backwoods philosophy and stories about his time in Vietnam.
Blend them in with Phil, the laid-back patriarch, and the wives who patiently put up with their antics, and you have TV magic.
In fact, many people are calling “Duck Dynasty” a modern-day “Brady Brunch” family. It’s G-Rated for laughs.