October 28, 2008 / 6:11 AM / 10 years ago

"Mad Men" ends second season with record ratings

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - “Mad Men,” AMC’s Emmy-winning drama set in an ad agency during the JFK era, ended its second season on a high note.

Actor Jon Hamm speaks at the HFPA Installation Luncheon in Beverly Hills on July 30, 2008. REUTERS/Phil McCarten

Sunday’s finale averaged 1.75 million total viewers for its 10 p.m. airing, an 89% improvement over the tally for the first-season finale (926,000) a year ago. Over three airings (10 p.m., 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.), the episode pulled in a total of 2.9 million viewers.

Compared with Season 1, “Mad Men’s” sophomore run saw a 63% increase in total viewers (an average of 1.5 million viewers vs. 925,000), a 109% jump in the adults 18-49 demo (705,000 vs. 338,000) and an 81% increase in adults 25-54 (780,000 vs. 430,000).

While still modestly rated, the series has generated a great deal of buzz and critical acclaim. In September, it became the first basic cable program to win the Emmy for best drama. While it has yet to be renewed for a third season as series producer Lionsgate negotiates a new deal with creator/executive producer Matthew Weiner, all parties expect a pickup.

This weekend was a busy one for the “Mad Men” contingent: Along with the season finale, star Jon Hamm hosted NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” and his co-stars Elisabeth Moss and John Slattery made special appearances during the late-night sketch-comedy show.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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