Don (Jon Hamm) and Joan (Christina Hendricks) in "Mad Men"
History shows us that as television shows continue to churn out season after season, their quality begins to lack, and as a consequence, their viewership numbers begin to wane. But AMC’s hit drama Mad Men appears to have significantly avoided falling into this syndrome, after it was reported that the show’s season five finale drew a record number of audience viewers.
Approximately 2.7 million viewers tuned in to the finale, a 15 per cent jump from the show’s season four finale which was watched by 2.44 million. The AMC Group puts the high ratings down to the consistently high quality of the television show, and its growing recognition as a quality television series.
"[Writer-producer] Matthew Weiner and his remarkable team have again delivered a season of television beyond compare. We couldn't be more proud of this program and the brilliant writers, cast and crew that bring it to life," AMC President Charlie Collier said
"As in each season prior, Season 5 is now 'Mad Men's' most-watched season, an uncommon television growth record and a testament to the ongoing quality and uniqueness of this rare property. I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that the record live-same-day Nielsen ratings that gain so much attention are only a small part of the 'Mad Men' success story. Congratulations to the entire 'Mad Men' team on another terrific season."Mad Men
has received much critical acclaim since it first premiered in 2007. Focusing on the lives of owners and employees of a 1960s advertising firm in New York, the show has been honoured with an Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series for each of its first four seasons.
Most impressively, its ratings have continued to increase from season to season, with season premiere numbers jumping from 0.90 million in 2007, 2 million in 2008, 2.8 million in 2009, 2.92 million in 2010 and finally reaching the 3 million mark in 2012 with 3.54 million viewers.
"We make 'Mad Men' for the fans. My goal is to tell a compelling story and entertain people and it thrills me that people keep watching," Weiner said
The finale in itself received mostly positive reviews from fans and critics alike, who heralded the show’s entire fifth season for venturing into slightly darker territory through storylines featuring a suicide, hallucinations, LSD use and a fist fight.