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'Mad Men' midseason finale ratings get a major DVR boost

Somebody tell Michael Ginsberg technology is not the enemy. #MadMen midseason finale sees big DVR boost.
Cheer up, Don: #MadMen ratings nearly double once delayed viewing is factored in.

Quick! Somebody, tell Michael Ginsberg that technology is not the enemy.

Same-day ratings for the midseason finale of "Mad Men," "Waterloo," which aired Sunday night were relatively soft, with just 1.9 million viewers tuning in to watch. 

But once viewing within three days (or Live +3, to use industry jargon) is factored in, the numbers nearly double to 3.6 million. What's more, just over half of those viewers (1.84 million) fall into the sought-after 18-to-49 demographic. 

"Mad Men," whose modest ratings have never quite matched its cultural cachet, has long been a DVR favorite, and it makes sense that an episode airing on Memorial Day weekend -- a first for a "Mad Men" finale, midseason or otherwise -- would enjoy a considerable delayed-viewing boost. 

On Friday, AMC president Charlie Collier touted the delayed-viewing numbers.

“It comes as little surprise to see the 'Mad Men' audience, the most upscale audience on television and some of the most elusive live-television viewers anywhere, grow by triple digits in key demographics in just three days," he said, praising series creator Matt Weiner for "a remarkable seven episodes and a midseason finale that is as creatively bold and emotional as a 'Mad Men' episode can be."

"Waterloo" capped off a seven-episode cycle in which the rise of technology, from computers to the Apollo 11 moon landing, has been a major theme. Chances are the series, which will return for its final seven episodes next spring, won't fast-forward to see how Don Draper, Peggy Olson, et al., respond to the rise of the DVR -- but they should probably embrace it.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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