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.

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

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.