After hunting down various vermin in Louisiana with "Billy the Exterminator," A&E Network returns to the Pelican State to explore another of its nicknames, "Sportsman's Paradise," with a new series called "Duck Dynasty," premiering Wednesday, March 21.
The reality show focuses on the Robertsons, a clan from Monroe, in Ouachita Parish in northeastern Louisiana. The family runs Duck Commander, a sporting empire known for hand-fabricating top-of-the-line duck calls and decoys.
The press release for the show says the calls and decoys are made from "salvaged swamp wood," but CEO Willie Robertson, son of founder and patriarch Phil, says, "Um, creative writing. That's how it started. Nowadays, it's not as much swamp wood. It's cedar. There are different kinds of woods that you use."
Working with Willie are his wife, Korie; his brother Jase and wife Missy; and Phil's brother, Uncle Si. At the end of a long day running a multimillion-dollar business, the family gathers around the dinner table of matriarch Miss Kay.
While Willie Robertson likens the format of the show to Discovery Channel's motorcycle-building "American Chopper," he does admit the Robertson family dynamic is much less volatile than that of the battling Teutul clan.
"We argue and stuff," he says, "but ours is a little more playful. We haven't sued each other yet, I'll say that. When it comes to Dad, pretty much what he says goes. Ain't nobody going to argue with him."
"There's a respect that's pretty evident in our family," Korie Robertson says.
What A&E didn't know about the Robertsons: They had previously been on "Billy the Exterminator." Says Willie Robertson, "I thought maybe that's how they noticed us, but that was news to them. They were like, 'Really, that was y'all?' "
What customers may not know about the duck calls:Someone at Duck Commander has blown your duck call before you, to check the sound. Says Korie Robertson, "When you think about it, it's kind of gross."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun