Season Five of 'Mad Men' Has Most Watched Season Finale in Series History

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June 11th, 2012

via press release:








New York, NY – June 11, 2012 –Last night, AMC concluded season five of “Mad Men,” which resulted in the most watched season to date with an average of 2.6 million viewers increasing 15% over last season’s average. Last night’s finale marks the highest finale in the series history with a 2.0 HH rating and 2.7 million viewers. Among the core demo of Adults 25-54, “Mad Men” delivered 1.4 million  viewers marking an increase of +13% versus the season four finale. “Mad Men” is a top 3 original drama series each week among Adults 25-54 on basic cable.


"Matthew Weiner and his remarkable team have again delivered a season of television beyond compare.  We couldn't be more proud of this program and the brilliant writers, cast and crew that bring it to life,” said Charlie Collier, AMC’s president.  “As in each season prior, season five is now ‘Mad Men's’ most-watched season, an uncommon television growth record and a testament to the ongoing quality and uniqueness of this rare property.  I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that the record live-same-day Nielsen ratings that gain so much attention are only a small part of the ‘Mad Men’ success story. Congratulations to the entire ‘Mad Men’ team on another terrific season.”


"We make 'Mad Men' for the fans.  My goal is to tell a compelling story and entertain people and it thrills me that people keep watching,” said Matthew Weiner, creator and executive producer.


Key Nielsen Highlights for “Mad Men’s” season five:


  • “Mad Men” is amongst the most engaging drama series on basic cable, providing the highest percent of live 7 to live viewing gains among Adults 25-54.*
  • “Mad Men” adds an average of 1.9 million additional viewers within live plus 3 to live and an additional 2.3 million viewers within live plus 7 to live.  “Mad Men” averaged 4.2 million live plus 7 total viewers increasing 121% vs. live.
  • The series continues to be cable's most upscale drama series with 49% of its Adult 25-54 audience maintaining a household income of $100K+.***
  • On iTunes season five currently reigns in the top five for cable dramas.
  • On Netflix, the first episode of the first season is the series most watched episode.


Source: *11/12 Season to Date.  Live 7 to Live A25-54 viewership among basic cable drama series. ** Mad Men Season 5 (3/25/12-6/10/12).  *** Live + Same Day. % composition of A25-54 HHI $100K+ of Mad Men Season 5 compared to all other basic cable original drama series from 1Q11 to date.  Premiere episodes.


Key Nielsen Highlights for “Mad Men’s” season five finale:


  • 10pm airing: 2.0 HH rating with 2.7 million viewers: +9%/+11% vs. season 4 finale
  • 10pm airing: 1.4 million Adults 25-54: +13% vs. season 4 finale
  • 10pm airing: 1.2 million Adults 18-49:  +11% vs. season 4 finale


Source: The Nielsen Company.  Live + SD.  6/10/12 vs S4 finale 10/17/10.


Key Nielsen Highlights for “Mad Men’s” full season five:


  • 1.9 HH rating with 2.6 million viewers: +10%/+15% vs. season 4 average
  • 1.3 million viewers - Adults 25-54: +10% vs. season 4 average
  • 1.1 million viewers - Adults 18-49:  +17% vs. season 4 average


Source: Source: The Nielsen Company.  Live + SD.  S5 3/25-6/10/12 vs S4 7/25-10/17/10.


Created by Emmy® and Golden Globe® winner Matthew Weiner and produced by Lionsgate, “Mad Men” made history last September as the first basic cable series ever to win the Emmy® for Outstanding Drama Series in four consecutive years. Set in 1960s New York, “Mad Men” is a sexy and provocative drama that follows the lives of the ruthlessly competitive men and women of Madison Avenue advertising. The season premiere episode is also available on

  • Kavyn

    A lot of people are complaining that the finale sucked because of all the stuff that happened two episodes prior. I personally really liked it. There was a bunch of character development and it looks like Don’s going to start cheating again. I wish we saw more Betty, Sally and Peggy though (although I’m so glad we saw Peggy in the finale – I thought she was leaving the show).

  • John A

    So has Elisabeth Moss left the show?

  • halloween

    not impressive at all

  • Chris

    No, Elisabeth Moss’s character has left the agency.

    And no, it’s not an impressive rating for a finale of such a heavily hyped critically praised Emmy-saturated show, but it’s beside the point, since Mad Men will run two more seasons no matter what.

    I am always impressed with the acting and the production values, but I just can’t persuade myself this is the best television has to offer.

  • Dennis

    Why no ratings for The Killing finale part 1 ??

    If Mad Men’s ratings are out surely The Killing’s are too

  • John A

    Ratings have never been good but its been stable this year and grew a bit. But its really expensive though so i dont understand why AMC want to keep it. Season 5 should have been its last.

  • I Love the Farm

    A press release for 2.7 million viewers and 1.2 demo in a season finale?

    Instead of trying to spin these mediocre results for this POS with a bunch of extraneous junk, Collier would be better off trying to develop better programming that people want to watch.

    AMC stock (AMCX) is now down to 37 and change with no floor in sight.

  • Polar Bear

    who cares? breaking bad=the best

  • Gary Middleton

    I Love The Farm…I don’t even think it was a 1.2 demo. I think it was a 0.9 demo.

    “10pm airing: 1.2 million Adults 18-49: +11% vs. season 4 finale”

  • J

    Worst season so far. Breaking Bad taking the Emmy this year!!!!

  • Frangy

    Considering what it must be costing AMC to hype this show, they could have done better by paying people to watch.

  • Ralph Hahn

    After Chris’s post, we heard from all of the “Mad Men” Haters.

    Your opinions don’t much matter. “MM” took home the Best Drama Series “Emmy” for the first four seasons in a row.

    If “MM” is a POS as “I Love The Farm” says it is, you are NOT among the targeted audience for your show. If you want violent programming, you can go to another channel where there’s plenty of it.

    And, “Frangy,” you don’t get it at all. It’s obvious that “MM” fits AMC nicely. It’s the other shows on the same network that don’t fit in.
    Maybe the SyFy channel is a better fit for those shows like “BB”. Targeted more for their violence and over-all dark nature.

  • EatMorePez

    There are plenty of TV shows that I don’t like. And you know what I do about them? I don’t watch them. I also don’t go online the next day and whine about them like a little girl. Seriously, you Mad Men haters need to read your cable users manual and learn how to change the channel.

  • Zillajay23

    Really enjoyed the finale some great moments and set up for some really interesting things next year a nice end to another great season Mad Men never disappoints. Hopefully Season 6 won’t take as long with no contract disputes this year.

  • Ralph Hahn

    @Zillajay23: >>> Hopefully Season 6 won’t take as long with no contract disputes this yearI don’t think so. <<<

    Showrunner and creator Matthew Weiner signed for two years, ending the dispute, with an option for an additional season (#7).

    "Mad Men" shows no sign of phoning-it-in or driving on cruise control. It would be nice if they gave a ballpark date of when Season 6 begins.

  • SteveO

    How are people calling this a disappointment? These are really good numbers for the show, in particular. Comparing it to Breaking Bad or The Walking Dead is just stupid.

  • Rolls Royce

    don’t watch this show, or any on AMC. i tried to waqtch The Walking Dead, but thought it was a silly show. This show looks pretty good, but i have not watchded. is Breaking Bad any good?

  • mikeincanada

    Add me to the disappointed group. Poor finale!

  • Bob Jones

    For AMC, I have watched (Live) every episode of The Walking Dead and Season 4 & 5 of Mad Men. I have been able to catch up with Breaking Bad, Mad Men Seasons 1-3, and Rubicon (Live). I have not watched (but recorded) Hell on Wheels and The Killing.

    The seasons of Premium Cable shows are so short that even if you don’t like a show, you can knock it out over a weekend (or two). Despite all the critically acclaimed shows on the other networks (HBO, SHO, etc), I only watch Game of Thrones (HBO) and Homeland (SHO).

    I have watched all of Dexter but sort of stopped; I watched Torchwood (both on BBC & Starz), Spartacus, Camelot, The Pillars of the Earth, but not Magic City or Boss. I like The Vampire Diaries over True Blood.

    I also like Megan Calvet Draper; I understand why others are annoyed with her, but she is ok (and I have not watched Hot Tub Time Machine).

  • Kyle7

    Was far from this show’s best season finale, but considering everything that happened in the preceding few episodes, I’m okay with that. Obviously most shows go all-out in their finales, and Mad Men has certainly done so in the past, but if you know you’re coming back, and the audience is going to stick around, is it absolutely necessary for the last episode to be the best of the season?

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