UPDATE: With three days’ worth of DVR playback now included in its totals, AMC’s series finale of “Mad Men” did indeed achieve a series high in total viewers (4.6 million), rising 41% from its same-night viewership released earlier this week (3.3 million). It also rose more than 45% in both adults 25-54 (2.5 million) and adults 18-49 (2.0 million), padding its record-setting total in the former demo.
“While it’s true that AMC’s ‘Mad Men’ ended with its highest-ever live+3 ratings, we believe the most meaningful metric for this iconic series will turn out to be live+forever,” said AMC president Charlie Collier in a statement. “We hope Matthew Weiner and the many extraordinarily talented people who helped elevate his vision over the last decade are smiling and finding peace like Don Draper at Esalen. This incredible team has produced 92 individual works of art, and we feel so fortunate to forever be known as the birthplace and home of ‘Mad Men.’ To quote Roger Sterling from the show’s very first episode, ‘I don’t think I have to tell you what you just witnessed here.’ ”
Sunday’s series finale also generated the most Twitter activity in the show’s history and led “Mad Men” to dominate as the #1 series across all broadcast and cable on Twitter that night with nearly 50 million impressions. “Mad Men” was also the most engaging cable drama based on the DAR-TV(TM) three-day window and the most engaging program on Facebook on Sunday night.
It was an end of an era Sunday, and audiences turned out in big — but not quite record-setting — numbers for the series finale of AMC’s “Mad Men.”
According to Nielsen estimates that include live viewing and same-night DVR playback, an average audience of 3.3 million watched the finale — the show’s third largest audience ever and about 1.43 million (or about 75%) more than the previous week’s total (1.87 million). The series high came with the show’s season five premiere in 2012, when 3.54 million welcomed back the show after a 17-month break.
See more: Series Finale Review
“Mad Men” did set a series high in its target demographic of adults 25-54 (1.7 million viewers), up about 70% (from 1.02 million) week to week.
AMC was expected to issue additional ratings data on Friday when “Live +3” numbers are available from Nielsen — and there’s a chance that “Mad Men” could achieve a series-high in total viewers by this measure. In recent weeks, “Mad Men” has grown more than 75% in these numbers, which incorporate three days’ worth of time-shifted viewing.
“Mad Men” was always more of a critical favorite than mainstream hit, especially in the early going. The series averaged less than 1 million viewers for its first season, but then grew with each of its next three seasons. The show, which won four Emmys for best drama, peaked with its 2012 season, when an average same-day audience of 2.7 million watched each week’s Sunday episode.
AMC led up to Sunday’s series finale of “Mad Men” with a four-day marathon of the show’s previous 91 episodes. And Sunday night at 10, AMC got some help from sister networks BBC America, IFC, SundanceTV and We TV, which forwent regular programming and instead aired a special message commemorating “Mad Men.”
Next up for AMC are the second-season premiere of “Halt and Catch Fire” on Sunday, May 31 and the British-American co-production “Humans,” which launches on June 28. The network will also bow the much-anticipated “Fear the Walking Dead” in late summer.