'Mad Men' finale exceeds last season's

2.9 mil viewers watch episode over three airings

"Mad Men" ended its second season on a high note.

Sunday's finale averaged 1.75 million total viewers at 10 p.m. Sunday, which was 89% higher than the tally for the drama's first-season finale (926,000) a year ago. Over three airings (10 p.m., 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.), the episode pulled in a total of 2.9 million viewers.

Compared with Season 1, "Mad Men's" sophomore run saw a 63% increase in total viewers (an average of 1.5 million viewers vs. 925,000), a 109% jump in the adults 18-49 demo (705,000 vs. 338,000) and an 81% increase in adults 25-54 (780,000 vs. 430,000).

AMC also said that 49% of the adults 25-54 viewers that tuned in during Season 2 have household incomes above $100,000, giving the show the strongest concentration of upscale viewers in that demo than any other original scripted series on basic cable.

While still modestly rated, the series has generated a great deal of buzz and critical acclaim, including becoming the first basic cable program to win a major series category at the Primetime Emmys with its best drama trophy in September. While it has yet to be renewed for a third season as series producer Lionsgate negotiates a new deal with creator/executive producer Matthew Weiner, all parties expect a pickup.

This weekend was a busy one for the "Mad Men" contingent: Along with the season finale, star Jon Hamm hosted NBC's "Saturday Night Live," and his co-stars Elisabeth Moss and John Slattery made special appearances during the late-night sketch-comedy show.