‘Mad Men’ Producers Spent a Fortune to Use Beatles Tune

We’re new viewers of Mad Men, but we’ve noticed that most every week, on Monday morning, something from the previous night’s show makes headlines. Whether it’s an outstanding performance of a French classic, or a new song celebrating Betty Draper’s rotund physique, each episode of the show has long legs for one reason or another.

The show started making news last night for including The Beatles song “Tomorrow Never Knows” towards the end of the episode. Right away, we started to see tweeters questioning how much was paid to get permission to use the tune.

Mad Men producer Lionsgate wouldn’t confirm the price, but a spokesperson said it was the most expensive music deal the studio has ever made. People with knowledge of the deal say it was $250,000. For those who saw the episode, they’ll remember that the whole song didn’t even play. Don Draper turns off the record player midway and then the song is playing during the closing credits. Still, this is the first time a Beatles song has been licensed for a TV show.

Apropos of a show about advertising and promotions, this show manages to stay in the headlines by doing something that stands out each week. They don’t save the big stuff for the season premiere and season finale.

Mad Med came back on the air in March after a 17-month hiatus and a huge marketing push, debuting with 3.5 million viewers, up 21 percent from the previous season. The show, which could be cut from Dish subscribers along with other AMC programming, is also thriving on Netflix and other places.

But compared to a show like, say American Idol, it’s numbers are paltry. Last week, that show averaged 16.3 million viewers.

But this season is great; interesting stories, solid acting, and the smart, subtle twists and turns of the plot keep people talking about what they’ve seen and what it means. Moreover, stunts like these are sure to always get media attention.

[image: AMC. Don Draper listening to a $250,000 rendition of “Tomorrow Never Knows.”]