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‘Mad Men’ ratings down slightly in Season 6 premiere

Arnold Rosen (Brian Markinson), Sylvia Rosen (Linda Cardellini), Megan Draper (Jessica Pare) and Don Draper (Jon Hamm) ring in a new year on "Mad Men."
(Michael Yarish / AMC)

It seems there are some people out there who can resist Don Draper -- hundreds of thousands of them, in fact. The Season 6 premiere of “Mad Men” drew 3.4 million viewers, with half of them falling into the 25-54 demographic.

That’s not a bad number for the Emmy-winning AMC drama, whose ratings have never quite matched its critical accolades or overall buzz factor, but it is a slight downturn from the 3.5 million viewers who tuned into the Season 5 premiere last year.

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On the bright side, the numbers in the 25-54 demographic are identical to where they were last season. And Sunday night’s ratings are also a jump from the Season 4 finale, which drew an audience of 2.7 million viewers last spring.

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In a press release, AMC President Charlie Collier highlighted the show’s affluent, obsessive fan base: “‘Mad Men’ has returned for a sixth season, and so has its passionate audience, the most upscale audience for drama on television. At a time when viewers have a variety of options in terms of how to watch their favorite shows, ‘Mad Men’ continues to drive an engaged audience to the live, water cooler event.”

Until this season, “Mad Men” had seen its audience grow considerably from year to year, thanks in part to its availability for streaming on Netflix. For instance, the Season 5 premiere was up 21% from the year before that, and the season as a whole was its highest-rated.

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