AMC's Mad Men Nielsen Ratings for Sunday August 17, 2008

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August 20th, 2008

More people clamor for Mad Men's rating numbers than the ratings themselves would indicate. For a couple of weeks running I have gotten e-mails and phone calls asking "where are the Mad Men ratings!".

So here they are for the season's fourth episode ("Three Sundays") which aired on Sunday, August 17:

Total viewers were down to 1.1 million, and a season-low 514,000 viewers aged 18-49.

This is courtesy of Michael Starr and the Starr Report, where he notes that Mad Men is shedding viewers at an alarming rate. Also a special TVbytheNumbers shout-out to James Hibberd of The Hollywood Reporter for sending me the link to Starr's post.

I'm not particularly alarmed or surprised by the ratings decreases, which seemingly mirror the patterns of last season where the most-viewed episode was the season (and in that case, series) premiere. Especially against the Olympics and In Plain Sight and Army Wives, the Sunday night is very competitive at 10pm.

While I definitely am enjoying Mad Men and particularly like this past Sunday's episode, this is a show where I believe many people will react like Bill Gorman did. Bill took it in, admired the detail and attention paid to making sure the detail of the period being covered (now 1962) was spot-on, but didn't get wrapped up in the story. I had to give it about five episodes of season one to get completely reeled in myself. So it's not a big surprise that people take on the premiere which generates a lot of promotion and buzz, and then bleed out. But I'm definitely not sorry that I gave it a few extra episodes.

I'd really love to see the DVR numbers for Mad Men, and the VOD (video on demand) numbers as well, but that's probably not likely to happen.

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