A&E's reality show "Duck Dynasty" premiered its season six on Wednesday night with declining numbers, losing nearly 4 million viewers compared to its season five premiere. However, the show still remains the number one cable show on Wednesday night.
Wednesday night's airing of "Duck Dynasty" earned a 1.8 Nielsen rating in the 18-49 age range, a noticeably lower number than its season five premiere rating of 3.3. The show also wrangled in 4.6 million viewers on Wednesday, less than its season five premiere of 8.5 million.
These numbers lie in stark contrast to the show's season four premiere in August 2013 that earned 11.8 million viewers. Despite the lower ratings, "Duck Dynasty" still managed to be the top-rated cable show on Wednesday night. But compared to broadcast shows, NBC's "Dateline: The People vs. O.J. Simpson," as well as reruns of "Criminal Minds" and "CSI" beat "Duck Dynasty."
Wednesday night's premiere featured a special guest appearance by Louisiana Gov .Bobby Jindal, who awarded Willie Robertson the inaugural Governor's Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence for his success in making the Duck Commander family business a multi-million dollar company.
"It was really neat to have the governor on our show," Willie Robertson told The Daily Advertiser. "His family loves watching the show, and they all came up to West Monroe to participate."
"He did a great job and is used to cameras being around, so he was natural. And playing yourself always helps."
Jindal's guest appearance evidently did not do much to help the show salvage its declining ratings. Although many media outlets are blaming the drop in ratings over controversial statements Phil Robertson made to GQ Magazine last December, others argue that "Duck Dynasty" is simply following the usual, short lifespan of docusoaps.
"Critics and ratings-gazers will be quick to attribute Duck Dynasty's fall from grace to any number of factors -- one of them obviously being star Phil Robertson's controversial persona in the wake of anti-gay comments made in a GQ profile -- but the fact of the matter remains that docusoaps have a short lifespan. And A&E has already milked more out of Duck Dynasty than anybody could have imagined," wrote Michael O'Connor for The Hollywood Reporter.