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The second subset is made up of the diehards who have been there throughout.

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Now they can re-watch it from the beginning without having to purchase it on iTunes or DVD. They can even just record a few favorite episodes to view over and over again. People who have never seen the show but are interested in testing it out fill out the third group. It's a little hard to picture them sitting down and watching six and a half seasons between now and the spring, but you never know.

It's not like AMC had a whole lot running on Sunday at 6 a. This is an audience used to time-shifting Mad Men , and binge-watching has some psychological backing. According to cultural anthropologist Grant McCracken, 76 percent of people said the practice was a welcome reprieve from the chaos of their everyday lives. The survey, which was commissioned by Netflix so buyers beware , also showed that eight in 10 people enjoyed watching more than one episode better than a single one.

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Offering an entire series over a small chunk of time isn't an unprecedented strategy for the network. These were more compact in scope, but they served the same function: a DVR recordable chunk of shows that didn't need to be seen at the appointed time. Perhaps the best example of this phenomenon, however, comes from FXX's recent Simpsons marathon, which produced astounding results. The network screened more than episodes back-to-back with 25 million unique viewers tuning in at some point and the average viewer watching 23 episodes.

The ratings boost launched FXX from the 49th-ranked basic cable network for the to year-old demographic to the No. That is astonishing success, and FXX is desperately attempting to continue capitalizing on the success with gimmicks like theme nights around new Simpsons episodes. Each of these marathons are one-offs and each came into being due to an understandable reason.


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We probably won't see all the Mad Men episodes played again in one place—at least not for some time—just like it won't happen for Breaking Bad , The Walking Dead , or The Simpsons. These types of blasts have a limited shelf life. If the premise is to allow people to DVR shows to watch whenever they want, there isn't a need to run the shows more than once in a marathon format. Plus, the novelty of a Simpsons marathon only has one shot to make a big impact.

Network executives will run into diminishing returns very quickly. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't expect similar types of efforts for other programs, and I would bet it's not too long before a major network tries a similar gambit.

Mad Men final season to be split over two years

Perhaps not a major marathon—airtime is too precious and too scheduled to justify an experiment. But the Mad Men model could very well apply. Consider a show like Sleepy Hollow or The Blacklist. Both shows have found a large following, but both have an audience that's much larger now than it was at the beginning of their run. Wouldn't it make sense to put old episodes on at 3 a. Who's going to get up before the sun to watch Don Draper make poor decision after poor decision and the rest of the gang struggle through their well-dressed lives as well?

Mad Men - Wikipedia

Mad Men might be the type of show that makes you want to have a drink, but 6 a. Except AMC's showings aren't designed to be consumed at an hour when Draper is just getting to bed. The idea behind the effort is to appeal to the DVR generation. Even the advertisements for the idea suggest you set your recording device. It's a network reaction to the death of appointment television, and it says a lot about how we consume media now.

Think about the target audience, which falls into three broad categories. The first, and probably largest, is the group of people who started watching Mad Men after the show started airing. Considering the growth in ratings , that's a big cohort. Now those fans have an opportunity to catch up on what they missed for free, while also getting stoked for the final episodes.

The second subset is made up of the diehards who have been there throughout. Now they can re-watch it from the beginning without having to purchase it on iTunes or DVD.

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They can even just record a few favorite episodes to view over and over again. People who have never seen the show but are interested in testing it out fill out the third group. It's a little hard to picture them sitting down and watching six and a half seasons between now and the spring, but you never know. It's not like AMC had a whole lot running on Sunday at 6 a.

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This is an audience used to time-shifting Mad Men , and binge-watching has some psychological backing. According to cultural anthropologist Grant McCracken, 76 percent of people said the practice was a welcome reprieve from the chaos of their everyday lives. The survey, which was commissioned by Netflix so buyers beware , also showed that eight in 10 people enjoyed watching more than one episode better than a single one.

Offering an entire series over a small chunk of time isn't an unprecedented strategy for the network. These were more compact in scope, but they served the same function: a DVR recordable chunk of shows that didn't need to be seen at the appointed time. Perhaps the best example of this phenomenon, however, comes from FXX's recent Simpsons marathon, which produced astounding results.

The network screened more than episodes back-to-back with 25 million unique viewers tuning in at some point and the average viewer watching 23 episodes. The ratings boost launched FXX from the 49th-ranked basic cable network for the to year-old demographic to the No. That is astonishing success, and FXX is desperately attempting to continue capitalizing on the success with gimmicks like theme nights around new Simpsons episodes.

Each of these marathons are one-offs and each came into being due to an understandable reason. We probably won't see all the Mad Men episodes played again in one place—at least not for some time—just like it won't happen for Breaking Bad , The Walking Dead , or The Simpsons.