/// Phil Robertson Flap Stings A&E
While Duck Dynasty isn’t expected to return to A&E until mid-January, the flap over the network’s suspension of Phil Robertson already seems to have taken a bite out of its ratings performance. According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, in the days after the Duck Dynasty patriarch was benched for his anti-gay remarks to GQ writer Drew Magary , A&E experienced a significant downturn in its deliveries. In the week of Dec. 16-22, A&E averaged 1.51 million viewers in prime time, down 13 percent from 1.73 million in the year-ago period. The target demos took a bigger hit, as adults 25-54 dropped 22 percent to 678,000, while members of the 18-49 set fell 18 percent to 646,000. Total-day deliveries also slumped, as overall viewers were down 11 percent to 792,000, while adults 25-54 dropped 20 percent to 361,000. A&E’s standing among adults 18-49 declined 15 percent to 367,000. Robertson was suspended on Wednesday, Dec. 18; as such, the controversy overshadowed five of the seven rated days. Since A&E announced that it had put the Duck Commander founder on “hiatus,” some 250,000 fans have signed the “I Stand With Phil” petition .