“Duck Dynasty” is ending its TV run after the current 11th season airs, the Robertson family revealed during Wednesday’s episode. During its five-year run “Duck Dynasty” became the most-watched nonfiction series in cable history. So why is it going off the air now?
A major ratings dip and the cast's busy schedules outside of the series may be behind the move.
In April of 2013 the third season finale of the show reeled in 9.6 million viewers, beating out the “American Idol” finale. And then season four broke records; the premiere in 2013, brought in 11.8 million viewers. But after that, ratings began to slow.
A controversy that took place when the cameras weren't rolling was at least partially to blame. In Dec. 2013, family patriarch Phil Robertson was suspended by A&E after he made offensive comments during an interview with GQ. He was eventually reinstated and continued to appear on the show, but some viewers stopped tuning in.
Only 4.6 million viewers watched the show's sixth season premiere. A wedding episode helped the show rebound slightly in 2015, but the downward trend continued for the most part, and season 10 premiered to just 1.3 million viewers.
Meanwhile, the cast members got increasingly busy outside of the A&E show, and it was apparent they had plenty of business opportunities that did not involve the declining show.
Willie and Korie’s daughter Sadie participated in “Dancing with the Stars” and appeared in the film “I’m Not Ashamed.” Willie also took time to speak about politics, attending events and campaigning for Donald Trump. He also wrote a book, as did many of the other family members. Uncle Si, Miss Kay, John Luke and Alan Robertson were just a few of the family members who released books.
Uncle Si also landed the spinoff series "Going Si-Ral" for A&E.
A&E and the Robertsons told FOX411 the end of the show was a joint decision.
“After 5 years, 130 episodes and one of the biggest hits in the history of cable, the Robertson family and A&E jointly decided that Duck Dynasty, the series, will come to an end after this season."
The final episode of “Duck Dynasty” will air April 12th on A&E.