Why do viewers seem to love “Duck Dynasty”?
A&E’s hit show, “Duck Dynasty,” season finale brought in 10 million viewers last week and other shows like “Storage Wars” and “Deadliest Catch,” prove successful season after season.
So why is it certain reality shows have shown such strong staying power?
“I think there are a number of reasons. One of the reasons is that people are looking for authenticity in the world and what they see with a ‘Duck Dynasty,’ like what they see with an ‘American Pickers,’ ‘Cake Boss,’ is that these people when the cameras go off that’s them,” said reality show producer Ethan Meyer, He added, “They don’t feel like they’re actors, the cameras stop, and they go home and they’re totally different people. People walk up to them. They’re very approachable. You’re like I’m already apart of the family. I’m already in there.”
While celebrity lifestyle expert Dorothy Cascerceri could not pinpoint the rhyme and reason to “Duck Dynasty’s” she said it could be that it actually teachers the viewers something rather than just entertains them.
“It’s really hard to say which reality shows are going to pick up steam and which reality shows get canceled quickly. The reason that people really love ‘Duck Dynasty’ is because it really just kind of showcases a kind of hobby and a kind of living that most people really don’t know very much about. It’s almost like ‘Duck Dynasty’ piques people’s curiosity and the reason people keep tuning in over and over is because they want to see more, they want to learn more and maybe they’re not watching for the kind of drama or hair pulling that we see on ‘Jersey Shore,’ but you know they’re watching for other reasons.”
Although “Duck Dynasty” has millions of viewers audiences tend to be fickle which means the show’s success may be short lived, Myer said.
“I think that ‘Duck Dynasty’ will be here for a little while but… I have no doubt that ‘Duck Dynasty’ will slowly loose ratings, but not necessarily because of the show, because of all of the other networks seeing it and going, ‘Oh my gosh, we have to start doing [this],’ “ he said.
Myer suggested shows like MTV’s now cancelled “Buckwild” are more attractive to networks.
“Doing [‘Buckwild’] types of shows, that’s what’s hot right now. I have no doubt that within a year [‘Duck Dynasty’] will probably drop a little bit. It won’t be gone but it definitely won’t hit 10 million people an episode. It won’t top ‘American Idol,’” Meyer said.
Cascerceri agreed with her fellow expert, “’Duck Dynasty’ is going to fizzle out just like any other reality show. The thing about television in general is a lot of times there is a lot of hype, a lot of buzz. You know a few seasons are produced. A lot of people are loving it but eventually everything jumps the shark.”
Still, she said overall she things reality TV is getting a better reputation among viewers.
“Reality TV, when it started out, it kind of had a bad name and now it’s kind of evolved where there is a way it can educate people and it is a way that people can learn about different people’s lifestyles and different people’s jobs. Not every show does that. ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,’ some can argue that it’s just kind of garbage for your mind but entertaining… Reality TV is really serving a lot of purposes these days…” said Cascerceri.
Meyer was less optimistic about the genre. He said he was unsure how long reality shows would stick around.
“I think that reality TV is kind of people stumbling around in the dark and sometimes they find something that blasts off, no one really knows why but because it’s a very fast moving business… Maybe the next big hit is already here.”