LOS ANGELES As the second season of ad-agency drama Mad Men gets set to launch July 27, members of the press continue to fawn over the series. But all that praise has yet to yield eyeballs. The show averaged about 900,000 viewers last season. And though creator Matthew Weiner may hope for bigger ratings this season, he said he remains unconcerned — at least, publicly — about the numbers.
“I’m an artist, so critical success like this has been satisfying,” he told journalists at the TCA panel held in Los Angeles. “But if you want to get into the commercial end of things, I look at what happened in the last year, and I think about how people at our competition may feel about this show, and I don’t think anyone’s looking at this and saying it’s not a commercial success.”
Weiner continued, saying, “I do hope that as AMC becomes more popular, that the show will draw a larger audience. But to me, it’s Malthusian, the increase in attention for this channel, from where we started to where we are right now. I consider that a very, very big success.”
Of course, Weiner’s reference to mathematician Thomas Malthus didn’t go unnoticed by Mad Men star Jon Hamm, who said he now would have to pay Weiner $1,000 for using such an obscure word. “You win again,” Hamm said to Weiner, jokingly.