Very big potential news on the Phil Robertson/A&E front, especially for the millions of Christian viewers who have been boycotting ‘Duck Dynasty’ after they suspended the show’s patriarch for speaking his religious views in a magazine interview.
According to a report out by Daily Mail, the news outlet that got an exclusive interview with the Duck Dynasty crew just days after the A&E suspension of Phil Robertson, the family may very well be looking to move their show away from A&E, with the new show entitled ‘Duck Commander’…
Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson may have emerged victorious from his recent spat with A&E, but the patriarch is already plotting revenge on the TV network behind his hit show and reportedly has a plan in the works to move his family – plus millions of dollars of advertising and merchandise revenue – to another broadcaster.
Humiliated by A&E’s recent attempt to silence his conservative religious message, Robertson – whose Duck Commander business is worth an estimated $15 million – is secretly plotting to form his own TV production company so he can jump ship to a Christian channel more in keeping with his views.
Robertson, 67, recently served a short suspension from the hit show….But a massive outpouring of support from Conservative supporters convinced A&E to take Robertson back or risk losing their most important cash cow.
The Season 4 premiere of Duck Dynasty last August drew a record 11.8 million viewers and total revenues for 2013 are estimated at $885 million.
The public support for Pat’s comments have convinced the wily businessman that he and his family could be better served elsewhere on a network more understanding of his views – such as overtly religious TV networks Trinity Broadcast Corporation and Christian Television Network, or cable/broadcast outlet ION.
Can the Robertson’s get out of the A&E contract? The source says they think they can.
Back in August the Robertson clan signed a new contract with A&E for $200,000 per episode. That contract is supposed to keep the family tied to the network for several more seasons, but Robertson is confident that he can get them out of it on a technicality after the forthcoming fifth season ends.
‘He’s confident lawyers can find a loophole and get them out of any long-term commitments,’ said the source.
‘Phil wants to use his company name Duck Commander as the title for an entirely new show that they can produce themselves and be in control of what goes on.’
If you think about it, the A&E collapse and move to bring back Phil Robertson made sense for both sides in the short term. If the show continued to suspend Phil, they may have had a difficult time keeping the rest of the family in contract. Having Phil back strengthen’s A&E’s legal backing via their contract. On the flip side, the Robertson family may have been somewhat trapped by contractual obligations as well.
According to this report, if the Robertson’s can find a way out of their contract they may very well jump ship.
Top Right News has been unable to confirm the DailyMail report, and as of this hour neither the Robertson family spokesperson nor A&E has responded to inquiries. So stay tuned!