There’s no denying “Duck Dynasty.” The A&E outdoors reality series returned for its fourth season on Wednesday night and became the most-watched nonfiction series telecast in cable history, with an audience of 11.8 million viewers.

The show’s one-hour premiere, which introduced previously unseen Robertson family member Alan Robertson, featured Duck Commander founder Phil Robertson renewing his vows with his wife, “Miss Kay.” The ceremony made viewers misty.

The big viewership, which included 6.3 million viewers in the advertiser-preferred demographic of 25- to 54-year-olds, built on the high ratings won in April, at the conclusion of Season 3, when the audience reached 9.6 million.

For newcomers: The series follows the travails of the Robertson family of West Monroe, La., and their company, Duck Commander, which makes duck calls for hunters. The show mixes commerce, family life, the great outdoors and fabulous beards.

David McKillop, A&E general manager and executive vice president, told the New York Times:

The Robertsons represent a lot things we as Americans cherish, self-made wealth, independence, three generations living together.”