The end is nigh for Mad Men, and last night the series had its lowest season premiere since 2008′s Season 2. The return of AMC’s acclaimed series for the first part of its 7th and final season drew 2.3 million viewers at 10 PM last night, just ahead of the 2.06 million who watched the Season 2 debut on July 27, 2008. The widely promoted 1-hour debut was down 32% in total viewers from the 3.4 million viewers that watched the Matthew Weiner-created series’ Season 6 premiere on April 7, 2013. That two-hour debut was the second-most-watched episode ever of the period drama. It closely followed the Season 5 debut of March 25, 2012, which was seen by an audience of 3.5 million. In terms of the key demos, last night’s Season 7 debut pulled in 1.1 million viewers among Adults 25-54 and 1 million among the 18-49s. While one of the most DVR’d shows on TV and certain to see a rise when the digital numbers start coming in, last night’s premiere was a dip from the 1.4 million viewers among adults 18-49 and 1.7 million viewers among adults 25-54 that Season 6′s premiere had.
Now seeing Don Draper thoroughly bicoastal, among other things, last night’s Season 7 start also was down from the 2.7 million who tuned in for the Season 6 finale on June 23. Even though this is the last season of Mad Men, there’s still a lot more of the show to come as it heads into the final year of the 1960. As it did with Breaking Bad, AMC is splitting this final season of Mad Men into two parts with 7 episodes to air starting last night and 7 more to air in the spring 2015. Mad Men’s lead-in Turn drew 1.9 million total viewers, with 747,000 among the 25-54s and 774,000 among the 18-49s watching the second episode of the Revolutionary War spy drama. In terms of total viewers, that’s down a slice from the 2.1 million who watched Turn’s April 6 premiere. On the other hand, Turn did see a rise among the 18-49 demo from last week’s 669,000 to 774,000.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.