‘Duck’ takes a quack at broadcast
A&E smash about a family who make duck call devices
February 27, 2013
It often seems like cable networks are competing to find the strangest, most unbelievable people on Earth to feature on their reality shows.
With all due respect to Honey Boo Boo, the stars of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” may just be the oddest yet. And viewers love them for it.
“Duck,” which follows a family that made millions in the duck call business but continue to live like backwoods folks, returns for its third season tonight at 10 p.m. with a huge amount of ratings momentum.
In December the show’s second-season finale became the most-watched program in A&E history, averaging 6.5 million total viewers. It outdrew broadcast in its 10 p.m. Wednesday timeslot among both adults 18-49 (3.9 million) and 18-34 (2 million).
Its average in its full second season soared by more than 125 percent in adults 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54 compared to season one.
Though tonight marks the final night of the February sweeps, and broadcast will air all originals opposite “Duck’s” premiere, it’s a good bet A&E will be the top network of the night in the key adult demos, another reminder of how much the lines between broadcast and cable are blurring.
The key to “Duck’s” success has been its one-of-a-kind characters. “Duck” has been called a real-life version of “The Beverly Hillbillies.” Though the Robertsons’ duck call business is worth millions, they prefer to continue living in modest homes with a backwoods-type lifestyle.
The men have long, thick beards reminiscent of ZZ Top, which not coincidentally performs the show’s theme song.
In tonight’s premiere, Phil decides to stop taking baths.
A look at this week’s top TV draws
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27
|2:30 p.m.||Fox Soccer Channel||“Soccer” (S)||English FA Cup match between Chelsea and Middlesbrough.|
|8 p.m.||Fox||“American Idol” (R)||Ten more singers compete in the semifinal round.|
|8:30 p.m.||NBC||“Guys With Kids” (C)||In the season (perhaps series?) finale, Chris and Sheila consider having another baby.|
|9 p.m.||ABC||“Modern Family” (C)||A friend of Mitchell and Cameron selects them to be the best men at her wedding.|
|9 p.m.||TNT||“Boston’s Finest” (R)||Series premiere. Reality series following cops in Boston.|
|10 p.m.||A&E||“Duck Dynasty” (R)||Season premiere. The guys take a camping trip, and undoubtedly get into some antics.|
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28
|8 p.m.||Fox||“American Idol” (R)||The final 10 semifinalists perform.|
|8 p.m.||TNT||“NBA Basketball” (S)||Doubleheader starts with Bulls-76ers and ends with Timberwolves-Lakers.|
|9 p.m.||WE||“Mary Mary” (R)||Season finale. Tina and Erica think about their future, and it may not include their current manager.|
|9 p.m.||truTV||“World’s Dumbest Criminals” (R)||Season premiere. More footage of, well, dumb criminals.|
|9 p.m.||Lifetime||“Project Runway” (R)||Joan and Melissa Rivers serve as guest judges.|
|10 p.m.||Comedy Central||“The Ben Show with Ben Hoffman” (C)||Series premiere. New sketch comedy show starring the comedian.|
FRIDAY, MARCH 1
|8 p.m.||CW||“Nikita” (D)||Nikita finds out about a terrorist plot, but she may not have he means to stop it.|
|8 p.m.||ESPN||“NBA Basketball” (S)||The underrated Grizzlies take on the Heat in Miami.|
|9 p.m.||ABC||“Shark Tank” (R)||One person introduces a wristband that can prevent nausea.|
|9 p.m.||TLC||“Say Yes to the Dress” (R)||Season finale. A bride looks for a dress inspired by the 1980s.|
|9 p.m.||Discovery Channel||“Yukon Men” (R)||The show moves to the 9 p.m. timeslot.|
|10 p.m.||IFC||“Portlandia” (C)||Season finale. The mayor forgets to pay the electric bill, which leads to a city blackout.|
SATURDAY, MARCH 2
|3 p.m.||NBC||“PGA Golf” (S)||Third round of the Honda Classic, from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.|
|6 p.m.||Univision||“Soccer” (S)||Mexican league match between America and Cruz Azul should bring in Hispanic viewers.|
|8 p.m.||Fox||“Cops” (S)||Cops in Chattanooga deal with a domestic disturbance.|
|8 p.m.||Lifetime||“The Surrogate” (M)||A young woman agrees to have a surrogate child for a couple, but she’s not what she seems.|
|9 p.m.||ESPN||“College Basketball” (S)||Classic Pac-12 matchup between Arizona and UCLA.|
|10 p.m.||Showtime||“Boxing” (S)||Lightweight title fight between Richard Abril and Sharif Bogere in New York.|
SUNDAY, MARCH 3
|1 p.m.||ABC||“NBA Basketball” (S)||Good doubleheader features Heat-Knicks and Clippers-Thunder.|
|3 p.m.||NBC||“PGA Golf” (S)||Final round of the Honda Classic, won last year by Rory McIlroy.|
|7:30 p.m.||Fox||“The Cleveland Show” (C)||Cleveland takes a buyout that give him six months of severance, but he can’t bring himself to tell his wife.|
|9 p.m.||ABC||“Red Widow” (D)||Series premiere. A woman gets into organized crime following the death of her gangster husband.|
|9 p.m.||NBC||“Celebrity Apprentice” (R)||Season premiere. Fourteen celebrities return to the show, including the always lovable Gary Busey.|
|10 p.m.||OWN||“Oprah’s Master Class” (T)||Season premiere. Singer Alicia Keys is featured.|
|A = awards show or special, C = comedy, D = drama, DD = daytime drama, G = game show, K = kids, M = movie, N = news/documentary, R = reality, S = sports, T = talk/variety show.|
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