A&E‘s unlikely hit Duck Dynasty returns for its fourth season on Wednesday, August 14, the network announced this morning, while salary talks with the Robertson clan continue. Back in April, the Season 3 finale logged an average of 9.6 million viewers – a record for the series and the network. The season ender was up 48% over the 6.5 million who watched the Season 2 finale on December 5, 2012. With a 4.3 rating, it was the highest-rated show on both cable and broadcast Wednesday, easily beating American Idol’s 3.2 that night. The starring Robertson clan had been demanding an increase in salary to as much as $200,000 per episode.

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A&E’s announcement:


A&E’S RECORD-SHATTERING HIT SERIES ‘DUCK DYNASTY’ RETURNS 
FOR A FOURTH SEASON ON WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 14 AT 10PM ET/PT

NEW YORK, NY, JULY 23, 2013 The bearded, bayou-dwelling redneck nation has been established. Clean off your camo as everyone’s favorite duck moguls return for a funny, functional and family-filled fourth season. All-new episodes of cable’s #1 non-fiction series “Duck Dynasty” begin Wednesday, August 14 at 10PM ET/PT with a special one-hour season premiere.

America’s most recognizable family is back. The Robertsons have built a multi-million dollar sporting empire manufacturing duck calls in Monroe, Louisiana and have earned a seat in homes across the country with their special brand of downhome practicality, southern charm and sharp sense of humor. Every day affairs are met by Willie’s growing business ideas, Phil’s fatherly advice, Mrs. Kay’s delicious recipes, Uncle Si’s oddball philosophies and Jase’s endless need to hunt, fish and rib his brothers. They are the family that works together, plays together and of course, eats together. The whole family joins in for more adventures on the bayou, where day to day life may be mundane for some, but for the Robertsons, is anything but dull.

In the special one-hour season premiere, the ladies enlist Uncle Si to distract Phil & Kay by taking them on a walk down memory lane while Willie, Jase and Jep set-up a surprise vow renewal for their 49th anniversary. But true to form, Si recalls things differently.

The season 3 finale of “Duck Dynasty” was watched by a record-breaking 9.6 million total viewers, 5.6 million adults 25-54, 5.5 million adults 18-49 and 2.6 million adults 18-34, making it the most-watched series telecast in A&E history among all key demos. Season three also averaged 8.4 million total viewers, 4.8 million adults 18-49 and 4.7 million adults 25-54, making it cable’s #1 non-fiction series last year, and the #2 original series overall (behind only AMC’s “Walking Dead”).