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July 23, 2014

'Mad Men' Finale Scores Huge Ratings

by Kim Potts, posted Nov 10th 2009 12:55PM
It was a plot-packed third season finale for 'Mad Men' on Sunday, and viewers had apparently anticipated the satisfying ending, as the Emmy-winning AMC drama racked up its best-ever season finale ratings with 2.32 million viewers.

The episode -- which (SPOILERS AHEAD, DVR-ers) found Don Draper (Emmy nominee Jon Hamm) agreeing to divorce wife Betty, explaining the breakup to his sad children, moving into a new bachelor pad, apologizing to co-worker Peggy for taking her for granted, flashing back to the tragic death of his father (via a horse kick to the head) and, ultimately, joining with Peggy and Sterling-Cooper cohorts Roger, Pete, Joan (yay!), Harry and Bert to start his own ad agency -- was up nearly 33 percent vs. the 2008 season 2 finale ratings (1.75 million viewers).It was a plot-packed third season finale for 'Mad Men' on Sunday, and viewers had apparently anticipated the satisfying ending, as the Emmy-winning AMC drama racked up its best-ever season finale ratings with 2.32 million viewers.

The episode -- which (SPOILERS AHEAD, DVR-ers) found Don Draper (Emmy nominee Jon Hamm) agreeing to divorce wife Betty, explaining the breakup to his sad children, moving into a new bachelor pad, apologizing to co-worker Peggy for taking her for granted, flashing back to the tragic death of his father (via a horse kick to the head) and, ultimately, joining with Peggy and Sterling-Cooper cohorts Roger, Pete, Joan (yay!), Harry and Bert to start his own ad agency -- was up nearly 33 percent vs. the 2008 season 2 finale ratings (1.75 million viewers).

The numbers are especially encouraging for the retro series, which, despite back-to-back Emmy wins for Best Drama, has seen viewership seesaw throughout its three-season run. The third season premiere on Aug. 16 was the show's most watched episode ever with nearly 2.8 million viewers (a 33 percent increase vs. the season two premiere's two million viewers), but ratings dipped throughout the season, going down to 1.72 million for the episode that aired after the show won its second Best Drama Emmy on Sept. 20.

And during season 2 in 2008, 'Mad Men' lost nearly 300,000 viewers for the first episode that aired after it nabbed its first Best Drama Emmy.

The series, which has been a critical favorite but has been knocked by some viewers as being too slow-moving in terms of plot, will carry those season 3 finale numbers into its fourth season, which is scheduled to premiere on AMC during summer 2010.

That gives us all several months to ponder questions like:

- Have we seen the last of Betty Draper (January Jones), now that she's fled to Reno to secure a divorce from Don?

- Are the Draper kiddies going to be raised by the nanny in Betty's absence?

- Will the new ad agency, Sterling, Cooper, Draper & Pryce, be a success, and will the gang continue to operate it out of a hotel room?

- Now that Don is single, has expressed his appreciation for Peggy (Emmy nominee Elisabeth Moss) and the two are working even more closely together, will a Peggy/Don fling happen?

- And, given how randy ladies man Don was when he was still married and living in the Draper family household, what kind of tomcat is he going to be now that he'll be single and living in a Manhattan bachelor pad?


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