"Mad Men" Ad Blitz Works: Season Starts With Twice As Many Viewers

AMC’s original series, Mad Men, has garnered a steady stream of glowing press since its first season premiered last summer, including a cover story in Entertainment Weekly, which also named the show one of the best of the past 25 years.

The show won two high-profile Golden Globes, scored 16 Emmy nominations, and its second season has been advertised incessantly (online, at bus stations, with real-life ’60s commuters at Grand Central Station) as part of AMC’s record-breaking $25 million marketing campaign. So has all of this positive attention and nonstop advertising paid off? Well, time will tell. But so far, Don Draper would be pleased.

LA Times: “Mad Men” scored record ratings in its second-season premiere. The AMC drama drew nearly 2 million viewers, more than double last season’s average (915,000) and, in an even bigger coup, tripled its average of adults 18-49. The episode also posted impressive gains from its lead-in (an airing of “Jerry Maguire,” which netted 1.1 million).

In fact, the only things not doing well are stock in Mad Men’s production company Lionsgate and AMC’s parent company Cablevision, both of which have been plummeting in recent days. Cablevision has been dinged by Verizon’s FIOS move into New York, but the former was never the city’s dominant cable provider anyway. Andpparently neither Mad Men or the prospects for Oliver Stone’s George W. Bush biopic W., the trailer for which debuted online Sunday, can help Lionsgate.

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