Duck Dynasty’s clever Redneck Christmas cash grab

Duck Dynasty has become a ratings winner for A&E, and judging by all the products the network now sells–among other things, there’s a board game, cookbook, and brand-new Christmas album–it’s also doing well generating cash outside of advertisements.

In a press release announcing the Duck Dynasty seasons 1 to 3 “collector’s set,” out Dec. 3, Lionsgate Home Entertainment said in a press release that it is “the most successful TV-on-DVD franchise of the year, with over 2.5 million copies sold.”

But it’s a special Christmas DVD released earlier this month that may be the most blatant attempt to squeeze cash out of their scripted antics.

Duck Dynasty: I’m Dreaming of a Redneck Christmas was released Nov. 5, and features “Louisiana’s bearded, camouflaged millionaires gather to celebrate as only they can.”

While it’s just under $7, the DVD is actually nothing more than last December’s 44-minute season-two finale, which you can buy for $3. The DVD description does say it’s 50 minutes long, but it’s not clear what the extra six minutes may be, since Amazon reviewers confirm that it’s just season two’s Christmas episode–and the whole second season is just $10.

There is another option, though: A&E makes it possible to watch that same episode in just three minutes, and for free, thanks to its Duck Digest web series:

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.

A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

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.