"Duck Dynasty" returned with a bang. The pro-hunting show posted record ratings for A&E with 8.6 million viewers, making it the most-watched episode ever for the reality series as well as the most-watched telecast ever for the network. It also became cable's biggest reality show telecast so far this year.
In the adults 18-49 demo, the second season premiere of the hit reality show scored a 4.0 rating. It toppled "American Idol" and "Modern Family" which both posted a 3.9 rating in the coveted demo.
In fact, "Idol" hit series low on Wednesday night, February 27 with 13.1 million viewers. It was the smallest Wednesday audience since the singing competition show debuted in 2002. The young adult demo rating, meanwhile, was the lowest for the reality series since 2003.
"Duck Dynasty" ratings soared in light of Jimmy Kimmel and Morrissey's war of words over the show. After the British rocker bailed on his scheduled performance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" due to "Duck Dynasty" cast appearance, the comedian mocked the singer and vegans on his show.
Morrissey then slammed Kimmel for his jokes, saying he's "disappointed" that Kimmel ridiculed "healthy eating" and "the notion that animals should be entitled to the possession of their own lives."
Kimmel responded to Morrissey's statement by saying, "This has nothing to do with people who eat meat versus people who don't. I'm completely respectful of people who do not eat meat, but the statement he made is ridiculous. I'd like to invite him to join the show to discuss."