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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.

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  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means. Learn more about Andy.

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