It’s funny to think that six years ago, one of the biggest names in reality TV was Robertson. The family’s A&E show, Duck Dynasty, dominated the entertainment headlines for almost half a decade.
Even if you hadn’t seen a single episode of the series — which was once the most-watched nonfiction cable program in history — you'd immediately recognize Willie, Jase, Phil, and Si’s distinctive beards thanks to the insane media coverage this tribe of duck hunters used to generate.
But what have the Robertsons been up to recently? Like a lot of reality TV clans, the Louisiana business owners got mixed up in a few controversies during the height of their fame. Scroll down for an update on this outspoken band of Southerners.
Is Duck Dynasty still on?
The show’s final episode aired on March 29, 2017, but you can still watch reruns from its 11 seasons on A&E.
Though the family no longer possesses the type of following they did back in their heyday, fans were recently pleased to hear that Willie’s son, John Luke Robertson, is expecting his first child with wife Mary Kate.
The duo announced the news via Instagram earlier this month. "Yep, that’s a baby,” the father-to-be, 23, wrote, sharing a photo of the couple holding a sonogram. Mary Kate revealed the gender in a post on her page. "Excited to meet our sweet baby boy in October," the pregnant 22-year-old shared.
The pair received so many well wishes that Mary Kate followed up the announcement with a message of gratitude. "Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has congratulated us and left the sweetest comments about our baby we're expecting! We have felt so loved and it's been really special seeing everyone excited about this little dude!" she said.
John Luke’s mom, Korie, also celebrated the news on social media. "You are going to be awesome parents, and I’m going to be your biggest cheerleader and your reliever all in one," she wrote.
Personally, we think A&E should do a DD revival focused solely on the Robertson kids à la TLC’s Counting On.
Why did Duck Dynasty end?
Starting in late 2013, the show was hit with multiple controversies, largely due to the behavior of family patriarch Phil Robertson. He did the most damage during a December 2013 interview with GQ in which he denounced homosexuality, lumping it in with bestiality and infidelity on his list of sinful acts.
Though A&E suspended the star from filming following the backlash his comments received, he was reinstated just nine days later. The show remained on the air for another three years, but ratings continued to decline, dropping from 11.7 million viewers in August 2013 to 8.4 million in January 2014. Only 1.5 million viewers tuned in for the series finale in March 2017.
In a video posted to Twitter at the time, the Robertsons claimed that they had decided as a family to leave Duck Dynasty behind — but you can’t exactly ignore a 10 million dip in viewers.
Despite the clan’s rather steep fall from reality TV stardom, we’re happy to see that they’re doing well … and expanding the dynasty!