It's back. Or will be on Sunday. Mad Men. The critics still love it, and I'm sure I will too. I think it has to be the most heralded show to never achieve a 1.0 national rating with adults 18-49. Last year's (season 3) premiere was its high with a 0.9 rating and 2.8 million viewers. The season 3 finale averaged 2.32 million and a 0.8 rating.
But those season 3 numbers were decent growth compared to season two, where the premiere averaged a 0.8 rating with adults 18-49 and 2.06 million and the season two finale averaged a 0.5 rating with adults 18-49 and 1.75 million.
Will the season four premiere set ratings highs and finally achieve a 1.0 rating? I'll crawl out on a limb and say yes.
Disclaimer: I get that it probably doesn't make that much difference to AMC whether the show averages a 0.8 rating with adults 18-49 or a 1.2 rating and that Mad Men does very well with high income viewers, and it brings a lot of attention to AMC. I also get that attention matters and not just for the advertising revenue, but also as Rainbow Media (AMC's parent) tries to command higher per subscriber carriage fees from the cable & satellite companies.