'Duck Dynasty' salary dispute stalling Season 4 renewal - report
The stars of the wildly popular reality show, "Duck Dynasty" are reportedly in a standoff with the A&E network over new salary demands. The showdown between the bearded, camouflage-clad duck hunting supply moguls and network execs is said to be delaying a renewal for the show's fourth season.
Out of the entire cable television schedule, only "The Walking Dead" beats the show about the Robinson family's hunting empire in its 10 p.m. Wednesday time slot. With a February season finale that proved to be A&E's highest rated telecast ever at 8.6 million viewers, it's easy to see why the stars of "Duck Dynasty" want the network to pay up. THR reports the members of the Duck Commander dynasty want more than $200,000 per episode for a fourth season, plus raises for subsequent seasons.
Dierdre Gurney, who produces "Duck Dynasty" with her husband, Scott Gurney, spoke about the debacle at the Hollywood Radio & Television Society luncheon. Gurney says the renegotiations revolve around two main issues: social media and promotional appearances. She would prefer the Robertsons keep their focus on making the show, and says it's "hard to watch" them dealing with the world of Hollywood contracts.
Another participant at the luncheon, Phillip Segal -- the man behind such shows as "Storage Wars" and "Deadliest Catch" -- weighed in on why some reality stars don't naturally play nice with the "A-type personalities" heading up the TV nets. "The network says, 'Can't you get them to be behave,'" Segal explains. "No. They are crazy, which is what makes them compelling characters."
Gurney believes the best compensation model for reality TV shows is one that rewards the stars if the show is successful. "When a show blows up, the stars benefit," she says. "If not, they don't feel cheated." Indeed, if their salaries were based on ratings, Phil Robertson, Willie Robertson, and the entire Louisiana-based crew would be rolling in dough -- not that they're not already. The family business, Duck Commander, is a multi-million dollar enterprise.
A&E declined to comment on the renegotiation report.
Photo/Video credit: A&E
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