Friday, July 26, 2013 —
This Sunday, Parade goes behind the scenes with the Robertsons, the hairiest, happiest, hunting-est family on TV. Duck Dynasty, the hit A&E show about a family that got rich (but stayed humble) making products geared toward hunters, has become the golden goose of reality TV. Popular since it premiered in spring 2012, the show is the No. 1 nonfiction cable series; its third-season finale in April drew 9.6 million viewers, an A&E record. And having a hit TV show has certainly helped the family business, Duck Commander: The company expects to sell more than 750,000 duck calls this year, up from 60,000 in 2011.
Why have so many heeded the Duck call? It starts with the close-knit clan: patriarch Phil; his spunky wife of 49 years, Miss Kay; their sons Willie, Jase, and Jep, all of whom work for the family business; their wives and kids; and Phil’s endearingly odd younger brother Si. When season four starts August 14, expect to see another Robertson: Phil and Kay’s eldest (clean-shaven!) son, Alan, who rejoined the business last year after two decades as a preacher. Savvy and intentionally funny, the Robertsons are more interested in coming together than tearing each other apart.