After 10 successful seasons on the air, A&E has officially announced that its reality series “Duck Dynasty” will be ending after its 11th season.
Premiering in 2012, the series followed Willie Robertson, his brothers Jase, Jep, Alan, his parents Phil and Miss Kay, and the lovable Uncle Si as they ran and managed their highly successful duck-call business, Duck Commander. The series became a quick hit for A&E in its first few seasons, managing in its fourth season to reach a staggering average of 11 million viewers.
However, ratings began to decline throughout the more recent years, coinciding with several controversial political affiliations and comments from some of the Robertson family members.
Specifically, Phil Robertson was banned from the series in 2013 following an upsetting interview he gave with GQ about homosexuality, though he was later brought back onto the show. It was after Robertson’s remarks that “Duck Dynasty” took a serious ratings hit, and while it’s still managed to be the most-watched show on A&E in terms of its total viewers, it was never able to achieve the record-breaking numbers that it brought in during its first few seasons.
“We’ve decided as a family for this to be the final chapter of the Duck Dynasty series,” Jase says in the announcement, with Willie’s wife Korie adding that fans of the show could possibly expect to see the family return for a “special or two” at some point down the road.
The final season of “Duck Dynasty” premiered Wednesday. Its first batch of episodes will air through Jan. 18, then return March 1 for its final seven episodes. The series finale on A&E is set for April 12.