Sunday's hourlong episode was unable to match the 3.4 million
that watched its sixth season premiere last year, according to
data compiled by Nielsen and released by AMC.
It was the fewest people to watch a season premiere episode of
the 1960s advertising world drama starring Jon Hamm as the
unstable ad man Don Draper since season two in 2008.
The episode faced off against MTV's annual celebrity-filled
movie awards show aimed at younger audiences. "Mad Men" also
aired right after HBO's hourlong ratings juggernaut, fantasy
epic "Game of Thrones."
The hourlong HBO show averaged 6.3 million viewers on Sunday.
Audience figures for the MTV Movie Awards have not been
released, but the show averaged 3.8 million viewers last year.
Emmy-winning "Mad Men" averaged about 2.7 million same-day
viewers in season six and 3.8 million overall viewers, including
those who recorded the show and watched it later in the week.
Its seventh season will be split into two parts with the final
seven episodes to air in spring 2015.
(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; editing by Mary Milliken and Jonathan Oatis)
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