Fox News reports that A&E may be looking for "Christian talent" for a new reality television series, likely hoping to attract the Christian audience that has flocked to "Duck Dynasty."
A&E's "Duck Dynasty" is the most popular reality television show in history. Its Season Four premiere had almost 12 million viewers, and though ratings declined to 8.4 million for the season's October finale, camouflage merchandise bearing Robertson family images earned an estimated $400 million in revenue for 2013.
In light of the recent controversy over Phil Robertson's comments to GQ Magazine, many thought that the fifth season premiere's ratings would either tank because of boycotters of the show or boom with strong Christian support. It did neither, however; ratings stayed about the same for the Season Five premiere, rising slightly from the previous finale to 8.5 million viewers. The season has since averaged over 7.5 million viewers, with last week's episode being watched by over 6.6 million people.
After the immense success of the 2013 mini-series, "The Bible," many in Hollywood are planning to produce Biblically-based films in 2014; likewise, having had a large Christian audience for "Duck Dynasty," A&E is reportedly considering production of a new reality television show with Christian values, perhaps hoping to retain market share in light of the recent decline in ratings.
The Christian Post also reports that the network is planning to produce a remake of "Highway to Heaven," the popular 1980s series about angels who help people overcome their problems, to be produced by Mark Wahlberg. The timing of the project's release is unknown, however.
Filming for Season Six of "Duck Dynasty" is expected to begin today.