Acclaimed drama to return for fourth season

AMC has renewed flagship series “Mad Men” for a fourth season on the heels of healthy numbers and wide media exposure for its third-season premiere in August.

The road to renewal was paved once exec producer Matthew Weiner signed a two-year deal with producer Lionsgate in January, after lengthy negotiations, for his continued stewardship of the series.

The Aug. 16 season premiere of “Mad Men” drew 2.8 million viewers in its initial airing (34% more than the season-two debut) and 4.5 million viewers for its opening week, shortly after the show received 16 Emmy nominations (including three acting noms and four writing noms) for its second season. The series won 2008 Emmy drama honors for its freshman year.

“You’ve seen the show grow three years in a row, and it’s been able to maintain what is the most upscale audience on television (according to Nielsen),” AMC prexy-general manager Charlie Collier told Daily Variety. “To have a distinct audience and scale it is really a unique proposition.”

Collier said the series would again have its season premiere in the summer.

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