The series finale of AMC Networks Inc.’s “Mad Men,” which generated extensive discussion about the ending for Don Draper, attracted about 3.3 million viewers on Sunday, based on preliminary results.
About 1.4 million of those viewers were among the 18-to-49- year-old demographic coveted by advertisers, according to ratings released by Nielsen. Those figures are likely to increase in coming days. The initial count includes people who watched live or on the same day the episode aired. TV executives say that no longer reflects a show’s true audience, since many consumers now watch later on DVR or on demand.
Past episodes of “Mad Men” have seen their audience expand by more than 75 percent with three days of their first airing, Benjamin Mogil, an analyst with Stifel Nicolaus & Co., wrote in a research note on Tuesday.
The show about New York advertising in the 1960s and early ’70s went on for seven seasons. The final episode generated tons of online discussion with its ending, which implied that Don Draper, the hard-drinking, skirt-chasing ad man played by Jon Hamm, came up with one of the most iconic TV ads of the 1970s: Coca-Cola Co.’s “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke.”
“Mad Men” has never had a huge audience. Its finale audience pales in comparison with other critically-acclaimed TV shows. About 11.9 million people tuned in for the final episode of HBO’s “The Sopranos” in 2007, and 10.3 million watch the series finale of AMC’s “Breaking Bad” in 2013.