Instead of a joke, Duck Dynasty became endearing hit

If you've been following the Duck Dynasty reality show controversy, you know that the cable network A&E has a embarrassing situation on its hand. 
The Hollywood folks at A&E suspended the show's star, Phil Robertson, for an interview he gave a magazine in which he was asked to define "sin". 

Robertson, a devout conservative Christian and popular speaker, then gives a close paraphrase of of the Bible verse 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, which according to the New International Version says: "Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."

Theologians refer to this as the "vice passage". Conservatives call this a plain condemnation of homosexuality. Liberals say if you take a closer look at the original words actually used, it's more a condemnation of pedophilia than homosexuality. Whatever. Talk amongst yourselves on that one. 

The best take I've read so far on the Duck Dynasty is this one from Pat Archbold. It argues that "Duck Dynasty is not the show that they wanted, it is the show that got away from them."

He says that "producers intended and what A&E envisioned with the show is much different than the show that they ended up with, but they didn't do anything about it because it was so wildly popular and so wildly profitable.  But even with all the money, they have never really been comfortable with what happened."

"This is what happened.  The whole idea of the show was to parade these nouveau riche Christian hillbillies around so that we could laugh at them. 'Look at them,' we were supposed to say.  'Look how backward they are!  Look what they believe!  Can you believe they really live this way and believe this stuff?  See how they don't fit in? HAHAHA' 

"When the producers saw the way the show was shaping up, different than they envisioned it, they tried to change course.  They tried to get the Robertson's to tone down their Christianity, but to their eternal credit they refused.  They tried to add fake cussin' to the show by inserting bleeps where no cussword was uttered.  At best, they wanted to make the Robertson's look like crass buffoons. At worst they wanted them to look like hypocrites.

"They desperately wanted us to laugh at the Robertsons.  Instead, we loved them."

I think the writer has exactly the right take on this. Now the network is torn between taking the money generated from "Duck Dynasty" and letting the reality show be, well, reality. 

Frankly, I don't think A&E deserves the show. I hope the Robertson's have a way to break their contract and make a break for a network that deserves them.