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Patriarch’s ‘indefinite hiatus’ could end after holiday cool off period

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Duck Dynasty Is the “indefinite hiatus” coming to an end after the holidays?

Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson was placed on indefinite hiatus by A&E in response to comments he made about homosexuality, but that decision apparently will not affect new episodes of the show scheduled to start airing on January 15th.

Regardless of the controversy and behind-the-scenes tension, A&E has every intention of keeping Phil Robertson on the air, Entertainment Weekly reported Saturday.

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If the report proves to be true, that would mean the “indefinite hiatus” ends on January 15, 2014.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the network is hoping the red-hot reaction to the controversy cools down over the holiday and that tensions over shooting future episodes, presumably with the Robertson family, can then be resolved.

“There’s no negotiation to have; we’re doing the show,” an insider close to the situation told Entertainment Weekly.

“We’ll figure out a solution,” the source added. “It’s just not going to happen overnight. Everybody will take a break for the holidays and regroup afterward. That’s probably the smartest thing for everyone to do. Time heals a lot of wounds.”

The Robertson family released a statement on Thursday that left the future of the show uncertain.

“We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right,” the family said. “We have had a successful working relationship with A&E but, as a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm.”

“Duck Dynasty” is the highest-rated series in A&E history — averaging an incredible 14.6 million viewers — and should the show be discontinued, it is likely to cost the network hundreds of millions of dollars.

The network will air a scheduled “Duck Dynasty” repeat marathon on Sunday.

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Tom Tillison

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