Duck Dynasty destroyed American Idol last night. Jase’s beard > Nicki Minaj’s “boob window.”

Duck Dynasty shows no signs of slowing. The A&E series’ season finale drew a record 9.6 million viewers during its one-hour episode — and an equally impressive 5.5 million adults 18-49.

That haul in the key demo puts it ahead of all of cable and broadcast offerings for the night — including American Idol. Duck Dynasty‘s 4.3 rating with adults 18-49 rating tops the preliminary showing for Idol (3.2 rating) by 34 percent.

Duck Dynasty’s appeal is not difficult to understand. The Robertsons are about a million times greater and more interesting than the Kardashians. Duck Dynasty features a loveable American family built on bedrock Christian values who struck it rich through invention and hard work, and their success has not fundamentally changed them. They remember being poor and have stayed close now that they’re rich. The men are all hilarious but fundamentally sincere, the women are all beautiful but not self-absorbed, and the kids don’t seem to have gotten caught up in the whirlwind around them too much. The Robertsons work, they hunt, they laugh, they hunt, and they hunt. And they — gasp — pray at the end of every single show, reminiscent of the “good nights” that always wound up episodes of The Waltons. Duck Dynasty is safe to watch with your kids, and kids tend to love it because it’s actually funny and doesn’t talk down to them or try too hard to be cool. It’s a fundamentally conservative, traditional show in the tradition of, believe it or not, Father Knows Best and Ozzie and Harriet. With duck calls and the occasional explosion.