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'Duck Dynasty' Ratings Rebound in Third Week With Nearly 7.5 Million Viewers

A&E's hit reality show "Duck Dynasty" bounced back Wednesday evening from what appeared to be an abysmal start to its fifth season, drawing 7.49 million viewers in its third episode, compared to its previous week's 6.7 million total viewership.

The hit reality show reached a significant higher amount of adults ages 25-54 this week with a Nielsen rating of 3.33 compared to last week's 3.02 rating. Additionally, the show rose 13 percent in total viewership.

"Duck Dynasty" was the number one television show on Wednesday night for the first half of the 10 p.m. hour, and also became the No. 2 show Wednesday for ages 18-49, trailing behind Fox's "American Idol."

The show's ratings last week proved to be a sluggish second-episode start for its fifth season, being the lowest ratings the hit reality show has seen since its 2012 Christmas special that drew 6.5 million viewers. The second episode's ratings also showed a slide from its season premiere on Jan. 15, which attracted 8.5 million viewers overall and a Nielsen rating of 3.3 for ages 18-49.

Some critics questioned whether the show's slipping ratings were due to the recent controversy involving cast member Phil Robertson, who received some public backlash for comments he made to GQ Magazine regarding homosexuality in late December. Although the show's ratings did appear to slide at the start of its new season, Variety reports that it is common for a season's second episode to show disappointing numbers compared to the premiere.

The show's Jan. 29 airing was full of classic Robertson humor and shenanigans, including Phil and Miss Kay hosting a sleepover for their granddaughters and Willie and Jace preparing for an all-nighter at the "Duck Commander" headquarters so they could complete a large shipment order by morning.

In one subplot of Wednesday's episode, Phil tells his grandchildren a spooky story of a large, woodlands creature he thought to be Big Foot, although it ultimately turned out to be Uncle Si. After telling the story, Phil doses off and Miss Kay and the grandchildren use the opportunity to spray whipped cream on Phil's hand and tickle his nose, so he ends up getting whipped cream all over his face.

In the show's other subplot, Willie partakes in the gang's all-nighter at the warehouse so he can be a part of the numerous inside jokes that are always born on such sleepless nights. Ultimately, however, Willie becomes the butt of everyone's joke when he drifts off to sleep in the warehouse and unknowingly has thick eyebrows drawn on his face with Sharpie marker by Uncle Si.

True to the reality show's form, Wednesday night's episode concluded with Willie leading the Robertson family in a prayer, reflecting on what larger meaning can be gained from the events of the episode.

"People always say be careful what you wish for, you might just get it," Willie says as the family feasts on a breakfast made by Miss Kay. "Lucky for us, Robertsons have extremely thick skin."

"So it doesn't matter if you end being the butt of the jokes you want to be a part of," he continued. "Or your scary story plan backfires into some whip cream into your face. You've got to find the humor underneath."

"As long as everyone including you gets a good laugh out of it, the wish wasn't completely wasted."

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