Better Nielsen ratings: Mad Men or True Blood?

Categories: Cable TV

Written By

August 14th, 2009

AMC's Mad Men - Season Two Premieres Sunday, July 27, 2008

A new episode of True Blood airs on HBO this Sunday at 9pm and the season three premiere of Mad Men airs at 10pm on AMC.  A nice two hour block of TV drama.

I'm a big Mad Men fan, and I've deliberately resisted reading any of the spoilers or reviews so I can completely enjoy Sunday night's season three premiere without expectations.  Unfortunately, even avoiding spoilers and reviews there has been so much drooling and slobbering over the season three premiere that you practically need a towel to wipe yourself off.

Somebody offered me a screener (thanks!) but I was all, "Hmmm do you happen to have a screener on Blu Ray? "

I was met with a glassy-eyed stare.  One of the reasons I enjoy Mad Men though is because it is a visual delight.  I want to see in all its high definition, optimized for the big screen glory.  So, I waited to watch it on the big screen in HD.

Some people claim Mad Men is so great because it depicts how how far we've come as a society, and how far we have to go. That's elitist crap. It's just an excellently written, acted, directed and filmed drama. Plus it's a feast for the eyes.  The biggest ding  against is that some of the plot lines are very plodding, and that is a fair criticism. Still, it has grown to be one of my favorites.

TrueBlood

True Blood is HBO's newest and currently biggest hit.  Its ratings momentum is growing, last week hitting 4.4 million viewers in the first airing of Sunday night's episode.  I've become a fan of the show, and the last couple of episodes were great fun to watch.

I'll give some more historical perspective on the Mad Men ratings when we report the numbers for the premiere on Monday or Tuesday, but last year's season premiere on July 27 debuted to right around 2 million and its season finale on October 28th drew 1.75 million. Though AMC notes that viewing for the three airings of the finale on October 28 combined for 2.9 million.

I'm in the minority, at least ratings-wise, in that I favor Mad Men to True BloodDespite this post's headline, I see no chance Mad Men will pull better numbers.  I think AMC will be happy if the show premieres with 2 million or more, and if it crosses 2.5 million their will be a hailstorm of press releases.  If it hits three million, the twittering frenzy from critics and fans might bring Twitter down yet again, and if it beats True Blood, that's gotta be a sign of an impending apocalypse.

Either way, I'd love to see a  fantasy TV crossover where the Don Draper character in Mad Men becomes a vampire on True Blood.  He'd make such a great vampire...

 
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