The Hollywood Reporter Unveils 2013 Reality Heat List
This story first appeared in the April 12 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
A series can rightfully bill itself a "reality phenomenon" when its renewal is held up by the cast's bid for bigger money.
At press time, this was A&E's happy problem as the network saw its top-rated series, Duck Dynasty -- chronicling the antics of Louisiana's Robertson family, which struck it rich whittling duck calls from local cedar -- pull in 8.6 million viewers for its February return, making it the biggest act on cable outside of AMC's The Walking Dead.
"We saw a diamond in the rough," says A+E Television Networks executive vp programming David McKillop. "The Robertsons are real-life characters, and we were able to turn them into a reality sitcom." The salary negotiations are no joke: McKillop won't comment, but sources say the Duck dudes want more than $200,000 an episode.