Over the past two years, Mad Men has garnered so much ink and so many awards that the casual observer might assume that AMC's flagship series is a big fat hit. In fact, the show's ratings have always been fairly anemic, especially given all the hype. But this past Sunday's season premiere, while hardly a smash by network standards, was the highest rated episode of the series to date, netting 2.8 million viewers in its first run and another million-plus in its encore airing. (DVR and on-line viewings have not yet been measured.) For those interested in such things, there's some good analysis of the numbers at The Hollywood Reporter's "Live Feed" blog (where James Hibberd notes that the Season Three premiere bested the Season Two opener by 33% overall, and by 71% in the 18-49 demo) and at Forbes' website (where Lacey Rose points out that half of the show's viewers between 25 and 54 have household incomes over $100,000). And while Mad Men was never in any real danger of being cancelled, it's always encouraging when the audience for a quality show increases. At the least it gives Mad Men fans more people to dissect the show with.

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