Duck The Halls

Duck, Duck and Christmas goose: A&E is airing a mega-marathon of its abruptly controversial series on Christmas Day. The network has scheduled 25 episodes of Duck Dynasty in a row starting at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday and concluding at 4 a.m.

But A&E didn’t get all its Ducks in a row to take advantage of the uproar surrounding co-star Phil Robertson’s controversial comments to GQ magazine and subsequent suspension from filming future episodes. A&E sources say the network booked the marathon before the controversy exploded last week. Duck Dynasty is cable’s top-rated reality series, after all. Plus TV schedules are typically issued weeks in advance and such marathons are routine over the holidays (one exciting example: AMC is airing every single episode of Breaking Bad starting Friday at noon).

Meanwhile, AdAge reports that Duck Dynasty‘s massive merchandising empire seems largely unscathed so far, with most marketers “simply laying low on the subject.” But one brand licensing executive suspects retailers will quietly finish selling off their existing Duck Dynasty inventory over the holidays, then might not re-order next year (“especially for something that looks like a fad anyway”).