Mad Men’s ad campaign fails to pull in viewers

Extensive promotion resulted in an average audience of just 72,000 for the US show's Sky Atlantic debut

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Despite much hype, and plenty of advertising, Mad Men’s initial outing on Sky Atlantic has returned disappointing viewing figures for the satellite channel. 

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Last night’s double-bill series five opener, showing from 9pm, garnered an average audience of just 72,000, according to overnight results, and was abandoned by half of its viewers between episode one (98,000) and episode two (45,000).

Back on UK screens after a year-and-a-half break, the tale of 60s Madison Avenue ad men was previously screened on BBC4, where the series four opener drew 355,000 viewers in its later 10pm slot.

The results are disappointing by Sky Atlantic’s own standards, too – its most successful show to date, Game of Thrones, peaked with 823,000 viewers, huge figures compared to what Mad Men managed.

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In the US, however, where the series returned on Sunday, figures were up. 3.5 million people watched the season five opener on the AMC network, compared with 2.9 million for the start of series four.