(Photo: Cross Map via Christian Post)
The A&E network's "Duck Dynasty" Christmas special that aired this past Wednesday raked in close to a whopping 9 million viewers, finishing the show's record-breaking season before it returns again in January 2014.
Results from Wednesday's hour-long Christmas special at 10 p.m. showed the episode scored a total of 8.9 million viewers, with 4.5 million viewers among adults in the 18 to 49 age range, and 4.6 million viewers among adults in the 25 to 54 age range.
According to Deadline, Wednesday's success was a 40 percent spike from the show's 2012 Christmas special, which was still considered to be a smash hit among viewers. The show has broken numerous ratings records since it first premiered in 2012. In its season three finale in April, the show set a record with 9.6 million viewers. It was then deemed the most watched nonfiction cable telecast in history during its fourth season premiere in August with 11.8 million viewers.
This past Wednesday's Christmas special was filled with classic "Duck Dynasty" humor and tomfoolery as the men of the family prepared to participate in their local church's live nativity play at the request of their wives, Kori and Missy Robertson. While Willie Robertson was confident and prepared for his role as Joseph, Jep Robertson, playing the innkeeper, was concerned about remembering his lines. Brothers Willie and Jace used this stage fright to their advantage, teasing Jep throughout the episode that he would surely forget his one line to Joseph and a pregnant Mary: "there is no room for you here."
Meanwhile, patriarch Phil Robertson took Miss Kay and daughter-in-law Jessica hunting to capture a hog for Christmas dinner at the local church following the nativity play. Although the women were initially distracted from hunting while chatting about Christmas gifts for their children, they were soon overcome with feelings of nausea after watching Phil shoot and skin a wild hog.
In another subplot of Wednesday's episode, Willie and Jace tried to get their wives the perfect Christmas present, both opting for a family portrait. The two men debated over whose idea it initially was to give the portrait to the wives, and ultimately they agreed to present their gifts at the same time as an early present to Missy and Kori.
"Duck Dynasty" has proven to be a huge success for the A&E network, increasing their primetime ratings by 12 percent among the targeted adults in 2013. The wholesome reality series that follows the antics of the evangelical Christian family and their duck call business in West Monroe, La., will return for a fifth season on Jan. 15.