The season five finale of A&E’s reality TV series Duck Dynasty aired Wednesday night, and it was the show’s lowest-rated finale since the very first season, despite the series’ popular following.
The show’s fifth season was the first full season to air since family patriarch Phil Robertson came under fire for derogatory comments he made about gays and others in an interview with GQ in a December story.
Six million viewers tuned in to watch the hour-long episode Wednesday, several million short of the 8.4 million viewers who tuned into the season-four finale last year, and 28 percent less than the 9.6 million who watched the season-three ending in 2012.
Although the season five premiere in January had a viewership of 8.5 million, which is considerably high, it was still significantly low when compared to the previous season. The season peaked with its fourth season premiere last August, when it saw 11.8 viewers – the largest audience for a nonfiction telecast in cable television history.
“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” Robertson told GQ.
“Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right,” Robertson continued, paraphrasing Corinthians.
Following his statements, A&E suspended the Robertson, but quickly lifted the suspension after Christmas after fans protested and the family said it would walk away from the show.
Duck Dynasty also holds the cable reality record in adults 25-54 at 6.3 million viewers.
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