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‘Duck Dynasty’ draws 8.6 million viewers, A&E;'s best rating ever

This post has been corrected. See below for details.

Take that, Morrissey.

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The Season 3 premiere of “Duck Dynasty,” A&E;'s reality-comedy series about an offbeat Louisiana bayou family that runs a successful duck-calling business, scored 8.6 million viewers, making it the top-rated broadcast in the cable network’s history.

The back-to-back episodes airing Wednesday made “Duck Dynasty” the top-rated nonfiction series on cable this year.

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“Duck Dynasty” centers on the Robertson family, where the adult men all have very heavy beards and personalities that frequently clash with comic results.

Some of the attention surrounding the series’ return could be attributed to the family’s appearance earlier this week on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Rock singer Morrissey, who is a vegetarian, canceled his appearance on the same show, saying he could not appear alongside people he considers “animal serial killers.”

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The abrupt withdrawl by Morrissey has prompted a war of words between him and Kimmel. After Morrissey released a statement following the show accusing Kimmel of belittling depression and gun ownership, Kimmel tweeted that the singer should come on the show to make his “dumb statements.”

[For the record, 2:06 p.m.: A previous version of this post said that Kimmel made his “dumb statements” remark before Morrissey’s statement. The remark was in response to Morrissey’s statement.]

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