In a season that’s seen the Robertson family of A&E Network‘s Duck Dynasty hit new lows, last night’s Season 5 finale took a serious hit compared to last year. The Louisiana-based reality show drew 6.0 million viewers overall with 3.2 million among adults 18-49. That’s a 28% drop from the 8.4 million total viewers who watched the Season 4 finale on October 23 last year and a fall of 27% in the key demo result of 4.4 million. The series’ December 11 Christmas Special was seen by 9 million viewers overall with 4.5 million among the 18-49s. While far about the all time low for a DD finale, which was Season 1’s 2.6 million overall viewers and 1.5 million among 18-49s on May 23, 2012, last night’s finale was also down 29% from the 8.5 million overall viewers who tuned in for the Season 5 premiere on January 15. That debut came after family patriarch Phil Robertson made comments in a GQ interview comparing homosexuality to bestiality and reminiscing fondly about the racial segregation of the south. Those remarks resulted in a short-term suspension from filming on the show for multi-millionaire Phil – not much more than a minor slap on the wrist as most of the season was already shot.
Though it was down from the pervious finale, last night’s DD was up from the previous week’s show by 28% in total viewers. The episode also had a 33% rise in the key demo from it’s March 19 show. Despite all the lows this season and the finale results, that still leaves the controversial series as the top show on cable in viewers and among adults 18-49 and the second highest rated show on all of TV last night behind ABC’s Modern Family.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.