8.5 million viewers greet ‘Duck Dynasty’ return for fifth season 8.5 million viewers greet ‘Duck Dynasty’ return for fifth season Photo provided by Gurney Productions --From left, Si, Phil and Kay Robertson are shown in a scene from season 5 of 'Duck Dynasty.'. Associated Press Jan. 17, 2014 Comments NEW YORK — Nielsen says “Duck Dynasty” drew 8.5 million viewers for its fifth-season premiere. That audience was slightly higher than for October’s fourth-season finale of the A&E reality show, but down from last summer’s fourth-season premiere which drew 12 million viewers. Set in Louisiana bayou country, “Duck Dynasty” follows a family that manufactures duck calls and loves to go bird hunting. Wednesday’s airing gave viewers their first fresh look at the series since it got caught up in an uproar. Phil Robertson, the family patriarch, was briefly suspended by A&E after GQ magazine quoted him declaring that gays are sinners and African-Americans were happy under Jim Crow laws. Supporters of Robertson’s right to voice his opinions flocked to his defense before the network reinstated him.