After the recent controversy with Phil Robertson that had 'Duck Dynasty' viewers quacking on every side, the show returned to A&E for its fifth season Wednesday (Jan. 15) and was met with less than stellar ratings.

Nielsen says 'Duck Dynasty' drew 8.5 million viewers for premiere and although those are fantastic ratings for a cable reality show, they aren't that great for the Louisiana-based segment.

To put things into perspective, last summer, 11.8 million viewers caught the fourth season premiere, which makes the current season 28 percent below the standard. Viewership is also slightly down from the show’s third season premiere in February of last year, which drew 8.6 million viewers.

'Duck Dynasty' was expected to have phenomenal ratings due to the high volume of publicity -- both good and bad -- that it received since the controversy with Phil Robertson. The family patriarch was briefly suspended by A&E after comments about African-Americans and homosexuals.

After a huge public uproar and outrage, Robertson's suspension was lifted and the family stated they were happy and ready to move on. But based on the ratings, it seems there are definitely some feathers that remain ruffled.