AMC’s ‘Mad Men’ Returns to Lower Ratings Sunday

Mad Men Season 7

AMC’s “Mad Men” has never been a ratings juggernaut, but even by its standards it returned to modest numbers Sunday night.

According to Nielsen, Sunday’s seventh-season opener averaged about 2.3 million — well below its year-ago opener of 3.37 million and also lower than its June season finale of last year (2.69 million).

In the adults 18-49 demo, last night’s premiere averaged a 0.8 rating (about 1 million viewers), down from the 1.14 rating for its year-ago premiere and the 0.85 for its year-ago finale.

The 12 episodes of last year’s sixth season of “Mad Men” averaged a 0.9 rating in adults 18-49 and 2.65 million total viewers in same-night numbers. And in Live+7, it rose to a 1.6 in the demo and 3.94 million viewers overall.

“Mad Men’s” ratings peak to date was its fifth-season premiere in March 2012 — the first episode of the show in 17 months — which drew 3.54 million and a 1.2 rating in adults 18-49.

Though it draws a relatively small audience, “Mad Men” is the most upscale-skewing show on ad-supported television in adults 18-49, according to Nielsen. AMC also notes that Sunday’s premiere is currently the No. 1 television show on iTunes, and the show is the No. 1 season pass on iTunes.

Leading into “Mad Men” on Sunday, the second episode of “Turn” averaged about 1.9 million viewers.


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  1. Mike says:

    I almost feel last year should have been the finale: Don made a breakthrough, he left his job, he came clean to everyone… it would have been an open-ended, but positive, conclusion. If it had been freighted with being The Series Finale, his public breakdown and confession to the kids would have played much stronger… oh well. We’ll see what happens instead.

  2. Penney says:

    Roger Sterling sunk to a new low. the ogry was a bit much for network TV even if it IS cable. I have watched Mad Men since the beginning. the first episode of Season 7 has discouraged me from watching anymore.

    • Tyler Mason says:

      Cable isn’t network TV. They have no legal mandate on what they can show Network is openly broadcast (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX) and its objectionable content is regulated by the FCC. “Decency standards” do not apply to cable TV. The companies are self regulating.

      That said, Don has been having extramarital sex onscreen since season one. Roger is single, and they never even showed him having an orgy. He just woke up on the floor. Of all the morally repugnant things that have happened on Mad Men, I can’t see how that scene would be the thing to discourage you from finishing the run.

  3. Mark says:

    Am I correct that “Game of Thrones” is on at the same time on Sundays? That would kind of explain it.

  4. Lynda Evjen says:

    I think the delay hurt to some degree but what made me stop watching was the endless amount of advertising. Just as you were getting back into…then another ad. When did they come to this. The Show is still exceptional and interesting but you will loose more if this excessive advertising does not stop. It was not like that in the beginning and you could get into the story. This broke it up and made me loose my interest.

  5. there is way toooo much time lapse between seasons and toooo many new shows to take the place!!!! a 10 month off the air break is ridiculous. most people will have lost interest……the ratings being down after last nite r plenty proof!!!!!!!

  6. The Kingslayer says:

    Sadly Mad Men is past its sell by date. The decision to split the last season into two was a bad idea.

  7. David K says:

    Way past its peak creatively & splitting the season in two was an atrocious decision

  8. JJ says:

    Last season was lackluster. This is the fallout. It’s almost as if ever since Weiner knew he had a multi-season deal in place, the urgency and creative zest dissipated. Sometimes, fear of cancellation and going for broke results in a better creative product. Season 1-4 were masterful. Season 6 was the nadir. And it sounds like season 7 ain’t much better.

  9. E Cheung says:

    Can anyone be surprised the ratings are down?! MW and AMC have made sure there is plenty of time between seasons for the fans to stop caring. Personally, that the story has left the early 60s, and that the following so-called “season” is truncated and pushed into next year, is what is tempering my enthusiasm.

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