Third-season premiere draws records auds

“Mad Men” is becoming a little less niche.

The third-season premiere of the AMC drama at 10 p.m. Sunday drew 2.8 million viewers, up 34% over the previous season’s premiere and the biggest aud in the series’ history.

“Mad Men” drew 2.1 million viewers for its second-season premiere last July and averaged 1.5 million viewers during its soph sesh.

Skein drew 1.2 million adults 18-49 in its third-season debut, up 75% vs. the season-two average in the demo.

With encore presentations at 11 p.m. and 1 a.m., the Emmy-winning drama achieved a cumulative overall audience of 3.9 million viewers.

The season-three premiere also emerged as the most downloaded program on iTunes.

The series is bidding to repeat as Emmy drama champ, while nominated stars Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss and John Slattery are seeking first-time acting wins. Series also scored four out of five drama writing nods.

Elsewhere Sunday, Tiger Woods wasn’t able to capture his 15th major golf tournament, but CBS certainly came out a winner.

The Eye’s coverage of the PGA Championship earned a 7.5 household rating/17 share in Nielsen’s metered-market overnights, up 150% compared to last year’s PGA, when Woods was out of the competition with a knee injury. During the climactic 7-7:15 p.m. ET stretch, when Woods was trying to regain the lead from eventual winner Y.E. Yang, the rating jumped to an 11.6.

Yang, a virtual unknown from South Korea, became the first Asian-born player to win one of golf’s four major tournaments.

Sunday’s action repped the highest final round PGA number since 2002 when Rich Beem beat Woods.

Of the final rounds of the four majors this year, the PGA ranked second to the Masters, which also airs on CBS (8.8 rating/21 share). The U.S. Open earned a 5.1/12 for NBC and the British Open a 3.9/12 on ABC.

Leading out of golf in most of the country, CBS News’ “60 Minutes” scored with its exclusive interview with Michael Vick, the NFL player who was imprisoned for two years for leading a dogfighting ring. Numbers were a bit sketchy due to the golf overrun, but the newsmag was easily the night’s most-watched program with roughly 12.4 million viewers.

“Big Brother” followed for CBS with what appear to be more summer highs (prelim 2.7/9 in 18-49, 8.5 million).

Also of note Sunday was a nice week-two bounce for ABC’s alternative series “Shark Tank” (prelim 1.8/5 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall). It ran second to repeat Fox comedies in demos — rising more than 35% week to week — and was first in total viewers during the 9 p.m. hour.

Show is skedded to continue airing on Sundays before finishing its season Tuesdays at 8 this fall.

(Rick Kissell and Stuart Levine contributed to this report.)

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