9:19am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'Mad Men' Returns Down a Shade From First Half of Final Season
Any chance of a Breaking Bad-esque bump in the last half of Mad Men's final season seems out of the question. Keeping largely steady with the seventh-season premiere in 2014, 7B started off on a slightly smaller note.
With live-plus-three-day ratings now in, Sunday's return of Mad Men nabbed a total of 3.55 million viewers and 1.58 million adults 18-49. That's off a few hundred thousand viewers from the first half of the season, which saw initial live-plus-three data bring 3.8 million viewers.
Mad Men's ratings peaked in 2012 — when its two-hour premiere brought in 3.5 million viewers on that night alone.
Ultimately ratings don't matter a whole lot to Mad Men. The show continues to be a cultural force and critical darling to the very end with even AMC president Charlie Collier recently joking that the real ratings for Mad Men are "live-plus-forever."
Mad Men was not the only player for AMC this week. Weeks after its blockbuster premiere, Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul saw a strong freshman finale. With live-plus-three-day data, it averaged 4.92 million viewers and 3 million adults 18-49 — both the best stats on cable this week.