'Mad Men' fans to see double on Sunday

On Sunday, “Mad Men” fans will have the choice between viewing a fresh installment of the show or watching “Mad Men’s” practitioners pick up more Emmys.

AMC and HBO are among the nets forging ahead with fresh segs of their original series, rather than standing down in deference to CBS’ live telecast of the Primetime Emmy Awards.

“You don’t get uncontested layups in primetime anymore,” said the Eye’s communications czar, Chris Ender. “Even for the Emmys.”

The fact that the Emmys are a strong promotional vehicles for both cablers isn’t swaying any programming execs to change their mind either.

One needn’t be Kreskin to figure that “Mad Men” creator-exec producer Matthew Weiner has a strong chance to win the drama writing category, considering he’s nominated in four of the five slots — and that the show itself could take home the night’s top prize of best drama series.

Weiner was among many scribes who signed a WGA letter protesting that in the time-shifted Emmys, writers wouldn’t be allowed to participate of the live broadcast.

“Our audience is our top priority, and it’s never been larger,” said an AMC spokeswoman. “It’s not in the best interest of our viewers to interrupt the flow of a series that has such carefully crafted storytelling, so we’ve decided not to do so on this occasion.”

“Mad Men” is averaging 1.9 million per episode.

HBO will offer the premiere of the new season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” The pay cabler normally schedules its shows two or three months in advance of airdates and, with Sunday its signature night of original programming, the net has traditionally not avoided the Emmys.

“What we do is set up HBO’s year when the shows can be made available,” said David Baldwin, exec VP of program planning. “The way it laid out was ‘True Blood’ ended on the 13th, and we wanted to get right into ‘Curb’ in the same time period.”

Baldwin noted that in the era of DVRs and on-demand platforms, “we don’t even sidestep the Super Bowl. This whole Sturm und Drang is 1980s thinking in the 21st century.”

And then there’s NBC, which will most likely be the ratings winner for the night with an enticing NFL matchup of the Giants vs. Dallas at the Cowboys’ new $1.2 billion stadium.

At last year’s Emmy’s on ABC, 12.3 million viewers tuned in (the lowest total in the history of the awards) while this past Sunday’s game between the Bears and Packers drew 21.1 million.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more
Post A Comment 0