The third season premiere of AMC's "Mad Men" drew the Emmy-winning drama's largest audience ever on Sunday (Aug. 16) night.

In its first airing at 10 p.m., the "Mad Men" premiere hooked 2.8 million viewers, up from the 2.1 million viewers who watched the show's second season premiere telecast last July.

The premiere drew 1.4 million viewers among adults 25-54, up 37 percent from last July's premiere, including 658,000 males 25-54, a 45 percent increase.

AMC also aired the "Mad Men" premiere at 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. for a cumulative premiere night audience of nearly 4 million viewers, a 25 percent increase over the season two premiere's cumulative audience.

The cable network also touted the "Mad Men" performance on iTunes, as well as record-breaking performances for the show's website, fueled in large part by Mad Men Yourself avatars.

"Mad Men" was recently nominated for 16 Emmys, 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.