AMC drama nabs 1.9 million viewers

AMC’s Emmy-nominated “Mad Men” never figured to be a ratings juggernaut, but the little-watched skein is off to a good start in expanding its aud for season two.

Preliminary estimates from Nielsen show that Sunday’s preem of the series about Madison Avenue ad salesmen in the 1960s averaged a series-best 1.9 million viewers, more than double its rookie-season average of 915,000. It aired behind a showing of “Jerry Maguire,” which drew 1.1 million.

And even better news came in the key young-adult demo category that today’s admen covet. “Mad Men” averaged 955,000 adults under 50, nearly three times its first-season average of 342,000.

Numbers weren’t available for “Mad Men’s” cable drama-series competish, but in USA’s “In Plain Sight” and Lifetime’s “Army Wives,” it’s going up against two of the top-rated scripted cable series of the summer.

The 13-episode second season of “Mad Men” will extend through October. Last season, it opened to 1.6 million viewers on a Thursday in July but faded down the stretch as it took on originals on the broadcast skeds.

AMC was rewarded for its patience in sticking with “Mad Men,” though, as it, along with FX’s “Damages,” recently became the first basic-cable dramas to be nominated for an Emmy.

Meanwhile, Disney Channel’s concert spec “Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert in 3D” averaged 5.9 million viewers on Saturday, standing as the night’s most-watched program. In total viewers, as well as kids 6-11 (2.2 million) and tweens 9-14 (1.8 million), it was the best delivery to date for a concert on the cabler.

Concert pic scored big in its limited theatrical release earlier this year.

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