Declining ratings and various controversies have people asking if the end of the Robertson family’s redneck royal reign is in sight. But Willie and Korie Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” told FOX411 their time in the spotlight is far from over.
“To some extent it's a natural cycle of any show,” Willie told FOX411. “You have ups and you have downs… [This season] was aired in the summer which is when not as many people are watching TV.
“Those things affect it. It's about what you're up against too so a lot of factors play into that,” Willie continued. “We just do what we do...I mean it's the top show on cable. I think anybody would kill to have a top show on cable, you know, for one night of the week so we feel like it's not as bad [as people say].”
The ratings may have dropped from 8.5 million viewers for the fifth season’s premiere to 4.3 million viewers for the sixth season’s opener, but the Robertsons say their fans have not wavered in their enthusiasm for all things “Duck.”
“If you traveled around with us and saw the vigorousness of the fans' support you'll see that it certainly hasn't lost momentum,” Willie explained.
In fact, A&E made way for even more Robertson family antics to fill the airwaves; the television network is airing a special season of “Before the Dynasty” to give fans a peek at what the family was like before their reality show (and beards).
“It was episodes that we did before ‘Duck Dynasty’ and they were on the Outdoor Channel,” Willie said of the series airing this Wednesday night on A&E. “Korie's hair is a different color, beards are a little shorter, the kids are certainly a lot younger; it's still fun.”
“A&E’s been airing these little clips throughout the [sixth] season to kind of give the fans a taste of it, and they really responded well,” Korie added. “[It] seemed like they wanted to see more so we're happy that A&E is airing those old ‘Duck Commander’ episodes.”
So what’s next for the Robertson clan? They already made it onto the silver screen when they played themselves in 2014’s “God’s Not Dead.”
“As far as what else we would do, I don’t know, we've been approached for a lot of opportunities, and we may do something on television, we may not, so who knows we'll just see,” Willie said. “We'll let the Lord guide us where He takes us.”
In the meantime, the Robertsons are busy filming the seventh season of “Duck Dynasty” and using their fame as a platform to spread their message of faith, family values and of course, ducks.
“Doing the show and having this platform is absolutely worth it,” said Korie of standing up for their values. “Nobody really wants to be involved in controversy, but I think it's a matter of you have to stand up for what you believe in and stay true to your principles and your values and those things don't change. It doesn't shift and sway with the wind.
“That's who you are and that's what you believe and you have to stick behind those things and if controversy comes with that, and it does, hopefully we handle it as a family the best way we can with love and the way God would want us to.”
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You can find Sasha Savitsky on Twitter @SashaFB.