Duck Dynasty beats American Idol, and everything else

A&E’s smash hit Duck Dynasty returned last night for its third season and destroyed its competition, both on cable and broadcast TV. The network said that it is now “the #1 nonfiction series on cable in 2013″ and the “season three premiere grew by 132% in total viewers, 117% in adults 25-54 and 127% in adults 18-49 versus the season two premiere.”

Even more impressive, Vulture’s Joe Adalian has a series of devastating comparisons–at least, they’re devastating for broadcast networks that target huge audiences yet have been beaten by a low-budget, scripted reality show:

He pointed out in a later tweet that there’s a “[g]ood chance nets will jump ahead” when ratings that include DVR viewings within seven days are included. But again, if you’re a network spending millions and millions of dollars on a single episode of a show and interest is so weak that most people would rather tune into a dumb but fun fake reality show on cable, you have a problem.

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.


Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.