Nearly 9 million people tuned in to 'Duck Dynasty' for Wednesday evening's third-season premiere, A&E's biggest audience ever. The show - about the Robertson family who make products for duck hunters - is now the No.1 rated nonfiction series on cable this year, a remarkable feat, reports the Washington Post.

The show premiered one night after the Duck Dynasty cast appeared on Jimmy Kimmel's ABC late-night show, following a very public dust-up with former Smiths singer Morrissey. Both were invited onto Kimmel's late night show, though Morrissey - a well-known animal rights campaigner - cancelled, calling the Robertsons "animal serial killers." That night on his show, Kimmel said he respected Morrissey's position but that he was unwilling to dump the Robertsons because "they have guns and Morrissey doesn't." He concluded that the Manchester-born singer "keeps finding ways to depress us." 

The whole furore worked out well for Duck Dynasty, which had more activity across social-media platforms than American Idol, also drawing a bigger television audience. The show has only been bested by the likes of The Bachelor, Modern Family and the Academy Awards this week.

MorrisseyMorrissey Cancelled His Appearance On The Jimmy Kimmel Show Over 'Duck Dynasty'

Morrissey, who's had plenty of high profile feuds over animal rights, recently announced plans to play an entirely meat-free show at the Los Angeles Staples Center. He once walked off stage at the Coachella Festival, saying he was put off by the smell of "burning flesh."