Viewers go 'Mad' for finale


"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 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 out of all original scripted series on basic cable.

While still modestly rated, the series has generated buzz and critical acclaim, 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 co-stars Elisabeth Moss and John Slattery also made appearances during the show. (partialdiff)