This is one duck that just continues to soar.
The A&E network has announced that the Season Four premiere of its hit reality television series "Duck Dynasty" bowed to a record-breaking 11.8 million viewers, the most ever for a nonfiction program on cable TV. The previous reality-show record of 10.6 million viewers was set by TLC's Jon & Kate Plus 8 in 2009.
The series, which follows the colorful characters of the Robertson family and their Duck Commander business, also “had more total activity across all major social media platforms than any other telecast on cable or broadcast for the night,” A&E reported.
“Thanks to its authentic and engaging characters, 'Duck Dynasty' has become more than just a reality show, it is a cultural phenomenon,” A&E Vice President David McKillop said in a statement. “We would like to thank the Robertsons for their incredible partnership. We are all happy, happy, happy.”
The present happiness shared between both parties comes after salary negotiations earlier in the year delayed production on Season Four. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Robertson family was looking to earn $200,000 per episode for Season Four — and even more beyond. While it's unknown what was eventually agreed upon, fans of the series certainly weren't against a larger payday.
"Pay them," wrote one commenter. "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!"
Check out a preview of Season 4 below.