robertsonIt seems that some 3.3 million people are no longer interested in watching Duck Dynasty after last month’s controversy involving extremely racist and homophobic remarks made by Phil Robertson, patriarch of the duck clan:

Maybe there is such a thing as bad publicity?

Though Duck Dynasty was expected by some to return to its biggest ratings yet after its huge controversy last month, the Louisiana-based reality show returned to lower viewership than its previous two premieres.

Wednesday night’s Duck Dynasty season 5 premiere had 8.5 million viewers. That’s huge for a cable reality show, but down 28 percent from its record-setting fourth season debut in August (11.8 million). It’s also slightly down from the show’s third season premiere in February last year (8.6 million). A&E notes the number up slightly from the fourth season finale on Oct. 23 (though obviously it’s standard to compare premieres to premieres).

Well that’s too bad. I noted at the time that many of the show’s fans were simply outdoors-y people who wouldn’t be likely to rally around Robertson’s bigotry. The true believers will stay, but among regular Americans, the Duck Dynasty ride might be over.