Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mad Men Snags 2 Million Viewers -- Does That Make It a Hit?

I read an article this morning about AMC's critically acclaimed, Emmy nominated Mad Men receiving nearly 2 million viewers for it's second season opener. The article started with the line "Maybe Don Draper will become a household name after all."

Um -- when did 2 million viewers translate into household name? That's less than half the viewers than ABC's High School Musical reality show and ABC Family's Secret Life of the American Teenager, and less than a third of USA's In Plain Sight. Can you name any of the characters on those shows? I think Don Draper may have a ways to go before he reaches "household name" status.

Don't get me wrong -- Mad Men is one of my favorite shows on TV, and I want nothing more than for it to become a mammoth hit and win tons of Emmy Awards. But no show in recent memory (save, perhaps, the fifth and final season of HBO's brilliant The Wire) has received such universal support from the nation's critics. This show has been everywhere -- newspapers, magazines, TV shows. If all of that publicity can only muster up 1 million more viewers than the show was averaging last year, can these new Nielsen numbers really be considered all that promising?


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