April 25, 2013 12:31pm PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'Duck Dynasty' Tops 'American Idol' With Record-Breaking Finale
Duck Dynasty shows no signs of slowing. The A&E series' season finale drew a record 9.6 million viewers during its one-hour episode -- and an equally impressive 5.5 million adults 18-49.
That haul in the key demo puts it ahead of all of cable and broadcast offerings for the night -- including American Idol. Duck Dynasty's 4.3 rating with adults 18-49 rating tops the preliminary showing for Idol (3.2 rating) by 34 percent.
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Duck Dynasty previously set a A&E record in February when it returned to 8.6 million viewers. Wednesday's episode topped the previous record by one million.
In the network's adults 25-54 demo, Duck Dynasty outperformed its 18-49 showing with an average 5.5 million viewers. It also raked in 2.6 million adults 18-34.
The show, which has seen its bearded stars negotiating for a pay increase, is expected to start production on its fourth season soon -- with a premiere eyed for later in the year.