Sunday (April 7) night's ratings for the "Mad Men" Season 6 premiere were either down slightly from last spring's return or up a bit from last summer's finale. Spin as you see fit! It's what Don Draper would want you to do.
 
With a decided lack of hyperbole, AMC reports that 3.4 million viewers watched the two-hour premiere of "Mad Men," including 1.7 million among adults 25-54.
 
Last spring's premiere, which represents the show's high-water mark, drew 3.5 million and a virtually identical number in AMC's core demo. June's finale, however, drew only 2.7 million, while the season as a whole averaged 2.6 million. 
 
In addition, last night's "Mad Men" premiere had direct cable competition from HBO's "Game of Thrones," which launched the week after "Mad Men" last year. "Mad Men" also had to face a surprisingly robust performance from CBS' Academy of Country Music Awards, which drew their biggest audience in 15 years.
 
"'Mad Men' has returned for a sixth season, and so has its passionate audience, the most upscale audience for drama on television.  At a time when viewers have a variety of options in terms of how to watch their favorite shows, ‘Mad Men’ continues to drive an engaged audience to the live, water cooler event," blurbs AMC President Charlie Collier, AMC’s president. "This is a true testament to the power of this iconic series.  Matthew Weiner and his remarkable writers, cast and crew have again delivered brilliant, distinctive television, and we are as excited as our viewers for another season."
 
The "Mad Men" premiere numbers came in under last week's premiere for "Game  of Thrones," which drew 4.4 million viewers and it's hardly worth the comparison to say that network-mate "The Walking Dead" drew 12.4 million viewers for its finale.