On Sunday I pondered whether the programming executives at AMC were as incompetent as "Duck" Phillips by running a new episode of Mad Men last Sunday - one of the better episodes of the series in my estimation - on a night where few people were watching TV. While I had been pondering which was better: to air things on a night with more competition when more people are watching or on a night with less people watching TV but also less competition.
Though I had been leaning towards the former, especially given the performance of TNT's series premiere of Raising the Bar, I was already tilting towards the latter. Then I saw that Mad Men had drawn 1.5 million viewers last Sunday and it looks like the execs at AMC are as golden as Don Draper is at Sterling Cooper, so it is me who is more like "Duck" Phillips. Excuse me while I throw my fat cat out on the mean streets of San Francisco and go in quest of a bottle of Jack Daniels...
We still never saw any numbers for the Sunday August 24 episode, but the August 17 episode was down to 1.1 million viewers, so 1.5 million is an improvement of 36% over that episode, which I'm sure AMC is delighted with. It looks like running a new episode on Labor Day Sunday, especially on the heels of a five episode season two mini-marathon worked out for AMC -- even with fewer folks watching TV.
The Chicago Tribune's Maureen Ryan did a lot of thinking on Mad Men and describes why even though she loves the show, it can be hard to watch.