Reality or Scripted? ‘Duck Dynasty’ Stars Explain Their Show: Watch

by | August 14, 2013 at 12:21 PM | Duck Dynasty, TV News

The phenomenal success of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” has resulted in inevitable questions about how this “reality” show is created.

It is openly described by its producers as a “hybrid” reality show that combines elements of unscripted TV shows with the structure and storylines most people associate with scripted situation comedies.

On “The Today Show” Wednesday morning, Matt Lauer asked the “Duck Dynasty” cast to ‘fess up: Is the show “real” or is it scripted? The answer: It’s a little bit of both.

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“Scripted reality, right?” said Lauer, introducing the subject. “You guys call it, I think, ‘guided reality’? What does that mean? What’s the guided part?”

The first answer came from Robertson family patriarch Phil Robertson. “Most of the time … we ad-lib,” he said. “Think about it: Someone out of L.A. is fixing to put words into our mouth? Gimme a break.”

“Well, they don’t write the script for you, right?” Lauer asked.

“No,” said Phil, although his brother, Si, revealed a few moments later that the producers do hand the family members some sort of script — an apparent guideline that Si said he ignores anyway.

Added Jase, one of the bearded Robertson sons: “It’s a bit of a culture shock,” he said of the producers’ interactions with this family of fiercely independent Louisianans. “They come up with ideas and we just get to be ourselves in the situation,” he explained.

Nine family members came to New York to appear on “The Today Show” on Wednesday, just hours before fourth-season premiere of “Duck Dynasty” — scheduled for Wednesday night at 10/9c on A&E.

Besides Phil, Si and Jase, the other family members on hand were brothers Willie and Jep Robertson, and wives Korie (married to Willie), Miss Kay (married to Phil), Missy (Jase) and Jessica (Jep).