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The Hollywood Reporter Unveils 2013 Reality Heat List

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    Reality Issue
    Duck Dynasty's' Willie Robertson
    Art Streiber/A&E
    "Duck Dynasty's" Willie Robertson
    'Duck Dynasty'
    A&E's "Reality Phenomenon"

    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.

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    "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.

    Click here to read THR's complete Reality Heat List.

    Continue reading the list