Thursday, March 07, 2013

Television Ratings Don't Lie

Shortly before Christmas my friend, Paige, encouraged me to watch this little show on A&E called Duck Dynasty.  She gave me a bit of the background and I decided to indulge.  And now, I'm hooked.

If you are like me and late to this phenomenon of a party, Duck Dynasty is a reality show based on the lives of the Robertson clan.  Phil Robertson, the patriarch, built a business on selling hand-made duck calls.  Now, his son, Willie, runs the company and the show focuses around the lives of this Louisiana family.  Phil and his wife, Miss Kay, lead the family, and the cast of characters range from the CEO/Duck Commander, Willie, to the lovable (and quite quotable) Uncle Si.  

Why is this show so appealing?  It's good, wholesome, down-home humor.  The family embraces their "redneck-edness" and the things they encounter - from escaped lizards to the opening of duck season - make for some great TV.  And the family lives with a very strong faith in God.  Every show ends with the family around the dinner table (now there is a novel idea!) and Phil leading them in prayer.  And, when he prays, he doesn't leave out the name of Jesus. (gasp!)  

The season premiere last week garnered more than 8 million viewers, making it the most-watched nonfiction cable show.  The ratings don't lie.  The world loves the Robertsons.  My friend, Julie, posted a status on Facebook last night that just sums it up..."Duck Dynasty is on.  For the next hour, all is right with the world."

Last Sunday evening, a mini-series debuted on the History Channel, simply called, The Bible.  Mark Burnett, the brains behind hits such as Survivor, The Voice and Celebrity Apprentice, is the creative mind behind this series that runs every Sunday night in March, with the ending being aired, appropriately, on Easter Sunday night. He was inspired to create a telling of the Bible with 21st century technology advancements after being a fan of the 1950s "The Ten Commandments" movie. He and his wife, Roma Downey, who after a stint as an angel now plays Mary in this mini-series, have been interviewed by tons of media channels on their motivations and reasons behind this production.  Burnett says, "It's actually a love story, God's love for us."

After the first night's airing on the History Channel, more than 14 million viewers took part in the beginnings of the greatest story ever told.  It, by far, beat out every other show on Sunday evening....including the airing of one of Burnett's other hits...Celebrity Apprentice.  

What does The Bible and Ducks have to do with each other?  The world wants something different on television.  And the ratings don't lie.  The world wants to watch a wholesome family who plays together and prays together.  The world wants to watch a program with their children and not have to worry that their children will be exposed to vulgarity and immorality portrayed as acceptable and encouraged.  The world wants a Rescuer.  And 14 million people began the journey to watch how a Rescuer came to this world to give us hope.  

No comments: