AMC has formally renewed "Mad Men" for a fourth season, generating simultaneous cheers and "Well, duh!" reactions.

The third season of "Mad Men" premiered on Sunday, Aug. 16 and pulled in 4.5 million viewers (over a variety of airings, including 2.8 million viewers in its first airing).

There hasn't really been much doubt about the fourth season of "Mad Men," not with the Emmys, improving ratings and with the lucrative two-year deal series creator Matthew Weiner signed with Lionsgate TV back in January. Still, it was night of AMC to make the news official on Tuesday (Sept. 1).

"We always saw the potential for 'Mad Men', and believed in and supported the series because of our strategy of developing cinematic television that complements our library of the most entertaining movies, from every genre, on television. It's been extremely gratifying to see the show develop in to such a pop-cultural phenomenon with such a passionate fan base," says Charlie Collier, president and general manager of AMC, in a statement. "With this early fourth season renewal, we're excited to let our audience know the captivating world of Sterling Cooper will be back on AMC again next year."

In addition to the basic ratings numbers and the show's strong performance in iTunes, AMC likes to boast that "Mad Men" delivers the strongest concentration of upscale adults 25-54 of any original drama series on basic cable.

Adds Kevin Beggs of Lionsgate TV, "'Mad Men' continues to surpass all expectations with each new season and the series has become a signature show for Lionsgate around the world. We're gratified by this early fourth season pick-up and salute the brilliant work of Matt Weiner, the cast, the entire creative team and our partners at AMC, who share our commitment to bringing viewers distinctive original programming of the highest quality." 

"Mad Men" is up for 16 Emmys later this month, including nods for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama (Jon Hamm), Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama (Elisabeth Moss), Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama (John Slattery) and Outstanding Drama Series.