Duck Dynasty, the A&E network’s hit show about the bizarre family behind the Duck Commander empire, is poised to make cable television history for after drawing nearly 11.8 million viewers to its season four premiere. The premiere drew the largest ever audience for a reality program.
The show debuted in March of 2012 to an audience of 1.3 million, according to Nielsen. By its third season finale, it was averaging 8.4 million. With a little boost, the show could topple AMC’s zombie survival drama, The Walking Dead, making it the biggest show on cable of any kind.
DD follows the exploits of the Robertson family of West Monroe, Louisiana. Patriarch Phil Robertson, a former college football star who turned down the NFL because it overlapped with duck season, built the multi-million-dollar Duck Commander sporting goods empire from the ground up with his son Willie. Despite their wealth, the family has remained in their small community (half of whom are employed by Duck Commander) and way of life.