‘Game of Thrones’ Slays ‘Mad Men’ Season Premiere

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Game of Thrones Season 3 Finale

Mad Men’s season 7 premiere on Sunday night didn’t quite live up to expectations, and Game of Thrones could be to blame. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Game of Thrones’ second episode of its fourth season garnered an impressive 6.3 million viewers, while only 2.3 million people tuned in for the premiere of Mad Men. The simultaneous airing of the MTV Movie Awards didn’t help the AMC workplace drama, but lack of interest in the show’s premiere could be a sign of bad things to come for the show’s final season.

Last week, Game of Thrones’ season four premiere netted a record-breaking 6.6 million viewers, and the second episode came close to reaching that mark again. The episode, which shockingly killed off one of the show’s main characters — though it was probably about time — gained 8 million viewers with an 11 p.m. encore. That’s a 48 percent increase versus the second episode of last year’s season three. The fantasy series based on George R. R. Martin’s novels has been a huge success for HBO.

Mad Men has also historically performed well for AMC, but the premiere of the final season dropped 1.1 million viewers compared to last year’s season six premiere, The Hollywood Reporter said. Sunday night’s premiere was the least-watched Mad Men opener since the second season in 2008.

In all fairness, Mad Men has always been more about critical acclaim than ratings, as the 1960′s period piece about ad executive Don Draper has repeatedly swept awards shows. The show has been praised for its writing and acting, as well as its highly authentic costumes and set design. Imitating the fashions worn by the women of Mad Men has been a popular way for fans to embrace the show.

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