The return of Mad Men for the first part of Season 7 on Sunday clocked 3.7 million viewers when Live+3 viewing stats are added in – a 62% jump from the previously reported 2.3 million for Live+Same Day. That’s good news for AMC, given those Live+SD stats had been the acclaimed drama series’ lowest season premiere since 2008’s Season 2.
Mad Men is one of TV’s most DVR’d series. In key demos, for instance – 18-49 and 25-54 – Sunday’s premiere telecast of the seventh-season starter bagged even bigger gains when delayed viewing through three days was factored in. In 18-49, the tally popped to 1.8 million viewers, up 74% from the initially reported ratings. In 25-54, Mad Men climbed 73%, to 1.9 million. The period drama’s return is still, however, down compared to its Season 6 opener on April 7, 2013, which snagged 4.5 million overall viewers, 2.1 million 18-49 viewers and 2.3 million in the 25-54 age bracket in Live+3 viewing. That two-hour debut was the show’s second-most-watched episode ever. It closely followed the Season 5 debut of March 25, 2012, which was seen by an audience of 3.5 million.
With the additional viewing, the Season 7 premiere cut its debut-to-debut viewership drop in half. AMC expects that gap to continue to shrink significantly over the weekend — peak time-shifting time. At any rate, Mad Men’s audience, while smaller, continues to be one of the most upscale among ad-supported cable and broadcast TV, with 54% of the premiere audience among adults 25-54 from households with annual income of $100,000+.