The “Mad Men” Season 6 premiere took a modest ratings hit after growing consistently season-to-season the past several years, but AMC has little reason to panic.
The 3.4 million viewers for last night’s Season 6 premiere is just a slight dip from the 3.54 million viewers Season 5’s premiere drew last March. The Season 5 premiere telecast remains the most-watched “Mad Men” episode to date.
This year’s premiere drew 1.4 million adults 18-49, also down slightly from last season’s 1.6 million. However, the Season 6 premiere numbers are still higher than the overall Season 5 averages, which was “Mad Men’s” most-watched season to date.
While this is the first time a “Mad Men” series premiere hasn’t built on the audience of the previous year’s premiere, AMC notes “Mad Men” typically adds 1.2 million viewers in Live+3 ratings. Last night’s competition included the second episode of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and CBS’ broadcast of the ACM Awards, which was up year-to-year.
“‘Mad Men’ has returned for a sixth season, and so has its passionate audience, the most upscale audience for drama on television. At a time when viewers have a variety of options in terms of how to watch their favorite shows, ‘Mad Men’ continues to drive an engaged audience to the live, water cooler event,” AMC president Charlie Collier said in a statement. “This is a true testament to the power of this iconic series. Matthew Weiner and his remarkable writers, cast and crew have again delivered brilliant, distinctive television, and we are as excited as our viewers for another season.”
For any viewers who may have missed it — or simply want to watch it again — AMC has made the full two-hour “Mad Men” premiere available online for a limited time.