The fans who rushed to support Phil Robertson in the wake of his A&E suspension clearly couldn’t wait for fresh installments of Duck Dynasty.
The show’s Wednesday night episode, the first from season 5, scored 8.5 million viewers, a figure that eclipsed the numbers from the end of season 4. The ratings figures weren’t as high as the first episode from season 4, though. Those ratings set a cable television record.
For perspective, the first new episode of the HBO series Girls‘ third season drew 1.1 million viewers.
Last night’s Duck episode was shot long before Robertson’s comments about the gay lifestyle caused A&E to suspend the reality star “indefinitely,” a length of time which ended up being less than two weeks long thanks to pressure from New Media outlets.
The episode included a debate over the merits of the Bourne movie franchise and the addition of a new assistant into the Duck Commander ranks.