AMC's Mad Men debuted to a 1.4 household coverage rating last night, according to fast national information from Nielsen Media Research and supplied by the network. That's nearly double what the network generally averages in prime, but modest compared to original series premieres on other cable networks this summer.
Network executives said they were happy with the 1.4, almost twice the .8 household rating AMC averaged in prime during second quarter. (Due to a data processing error at Nielsen, information on total viewers and demographic breakdowns will not be available until Monday).
That viewers found the program on a network not known for originals (this was the first one since Remember WENN almost 20 years ago) is noteworthy. AMC launched its biggest-ever marketing campaign around one show for the 1960s period piece about the advertising industry, including buying all the above-ground advertising space in the main hub of New York’s Grand Central Terminal during July.
Still, the critically acclaimed show drew a smaller audience than premieres for other new cable originals this summer, like USA's Burn Notice, which pulled a 3.3 household coverage rating - and TNT's Heartland, a 3.4. Viewers may be more accustomed to finding originals on those networks, though, since they have premiered orignal series during the summer for years.
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