DUCK DYNASTY, A&E
Following a recent storm of controversy, A&E's reality series Duck Dynasty saw a drop in ratings with last night's season premiere, according to Deadline.
The show delivered 8.5 million viewers Wednesday night, representing its first-ever season-to-season drop. Among adults 18-49, the season debut averaged 4.2 million viewers, down 33%. Last season's premiere delivered close to 12 million viewers and became the No. 1-rated nonfiction series telecast in cable history.
Last month, the one-hour Duck Dynasty Christmas special pulled in nearly 9 million viewers.
The controversy erupted last month when series star Phil Robertson was suspended from the reality series indefinitely by the A&E network in the wake of his anti-gay comments in the January issue of GQ. Said Robertson, "Everything is blurred on what's right and what's wrong... Sin becomes fine. Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men."
Since that time, everyone from Charlie Sheen to Sarah Palin to the late night host circuit have weighed in on the controversy.
Robertson eventually broke his silence on the issue in an interview with the Daily Mail Online in which he commented, "I will not give or back off from my path because you conquered death, Father, so we are not worried about all the repercussions."