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Duck Dynasty: Louisiana Will Help Family Continue Show If A&E Doesn't, Lt Governor Says

Duck Dynasty GQ

And the Duck Dynasty drama continues. 

After sources told E! News that the Robertson family is "very close" to leaving the show after A&E suspended family patriarch Phil Robertson for anti-gay remarks he made in an interview with GQ, their home state is offering a helping hand. 

Louisiana's Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne is offering to help the Robertson family connect with new producers if they cannot reach an agreement with A&E network in order to help keep the state's tourism up, per USA Today.

"Regardless of one's views on Phil Robertson's statements, Duck Dynasty has been an important representation of the state of Louisiana, inspiring prospective visitors and investors since its debut," Dardenne said in an e-mail statement.

NEWS: Phil Robertson breaks silence on anti-gay remarks

Dardenne's job includes running the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism and he also spearheaded the state's film and TV tax credit program.  In his e-mail, Dardenne stressed the show and family's hand in drawing visitors to the state.

"If the Robertson family cannot come to an agreement with A&E and wants to continue the show, Louisiana already has the infrastructure in place to maintain their record-breaking program," Dardenne wrote.

NEWS: Duck Dynasty family "very close" to leaving show

But would the family be allowed to take their Dynasty to another network? 

Sources told E! News that A&E owns the series for at least one more season, but said, "The family could appear on another network once their exclusivity is up with A&E. Under a normal contract, that usually means anywhere from six months to a year after the final episode has aired. However, if the family breaks their agreement with the network, the network could hold them for longer."

For now, the plan is for Robertson to be included in the upcoming fifth season, which premieres on Jan. 15, with our insider telling us, "Phil might be diminished but there's no way to cut him out altogether."

NEWS: Duck Dynasty family "very close" to leaving show

A&E faces a tough decision, our source noted, saying, "If the network backs down and they bring Phil back, they look weak. If they stand their ground, the family probably won't move forward and A&E loses their highest rated show...no one can really imagine the show going forward without Phil. It would be too weird."

And the head of the family isn't backing down; Robertson recently broke his silence on the controversial remarks he made while at Bible study group in West Monroe, Louisiana, saying, "I will not give or back off from my path."

PHOTOS: See the Duck Dynasty guys without their beards

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