July 26, 2013 at 3:57 PM ET
Hold onto your beards. It looks like there's about to be a shake-up in the "Duck Dynasty" world.
Phil Robertson, the Duck Commander creator and papa of the Robertson clan, recently told Parade that he (and his epic beard) plans to leave the show in the near future.
“Not long," Phil said of how much longer he intends to participate in the show. "But I think it’ll go on without me.”
Indeed it will. The A & E hit show -- which, according to Parade, is the No.1 nonfiction cable series, is set to premiere its fourth season on Aug. 14. The new episodes will feature Phil and his duck-hunting family in all sorts of new scenarios. We can also expect to meet Alan, Phil and Kay's clean-shaven son, who will return to the family business during season four after spending 20 years as a preacher.
During a recent speech at a California church, Alan said he chose to step in front of the cameras to help spread his religious message.
"Because of my association with the show, I'll get to minister to a lot more people," Alan told the congregation. "Any person that's an evangelist, that's what you want to do, so I had to give this up for something possibly bigger."
Alan's wife, Lisa, will also join the cast for season four.
Despite their newfound fame, Willie, who serves as CEO of the family business, says that the Robertsons are closer than ever.
“It’s probably the opposite of most reality shows," he said. "And nobody gets a big head because we’re doing it all together.”