The colorful characters featured in A&E's hit reality series
"Duck Dynasty" are betting on their soaring popularity begetting an even larger payday.
The Hollywood Reporter (THR) has learned
that the Robertson family, who have seen their Duck Commander business expand in the wake of the series, is looking to earn $200,000 per episode for season four — and even more beyond. From the site:
"The standoff comes as little surprise given 'Duck Dynasty's' success. Season three bowed in February to a whopping 8.6 million viewers and a 3.9 rating among adults 18-to-49. In the key demo, 'Duck Dynasty' is second only to AMC's 'The Walking Dead' on all of cable and tops all broadcast offerings in its 10 p.m. Wednesday slot."
While you might expect many to scoff at the huge per-episode payday being negotiated, the majority of comments regarding the Robertson's demands are in favor of the raise. "Pay them," writes one person. "It's one of the few shows on television that is family oriented in a positive way, and my family and I enjoy watching it together!"
The family-friendly nature of the series is indeed a gigantic part of its appeal, with many viewers tired of the materialistic, dysfunctional, and rude characters featured in reality series like "Jersey Shore" or "Real Housewives."
"We've seen a lot of reality shows in recent years tied to the pursuit of fortune and fame," says Lily Neumeyer
, vice president of Nonfiction and Alternative Programming for A&E. "What viewers have found in 'Duck Dynasty' is the flip side of that: a family that has worked hard, provided for itself, lives off the land and doesn't aspire to something that they're not. They believe in the real things in life that you take to the grave."
A source close to the negotiations told THR that both parties are likely to be satisfied with the eventual agreement, an outcome that means good news for fans.
"(The Robertsons) are a family that many of us would like to have, or hang out with," Neumeyer added. "I could rattle off a lot of different reasons the show is a success. But the main reason is it makes people happy."