No wonder the bearded stars of "Duck Dynasty" are getting big salary bumps.
The A&E reality series drew 11.8 million viewers in its Season 4 premiere Wednesday night, the most ever for a nonfiction cable series telecast.
That's more than 1 million more than the previous record-holder, which was "Jon & Kate Plus 8." That program's infamous breakup episode brought in 10.6 million when it aired in June 2009 on TLC.
In addition to the landmark total viewership, "Duck Dynasty" also set a record in the adults 25-54 demographic, with 6.3 million viewers.
"Duck Dynasty's" ratings exploded over last year's. Viewership for Wednesday night's episode of the series, which follows a West Monroe, La., family that owns a highly successful duck call business, was 37% higher that the third season premiere.
It hooked 6.3 million viewers in the key adults 18-49 demographic, along with 3 million in 18-34.
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