Most-watched 'Mad Men' still not in 'Walking Dead' territory

AMC’s “Mad Men,” returning after a 17-month hiatus Sunday amid a massive tide of media coverage, scored its most-watched episode ever, the basic-cable network reported Monday.

The two-hour Season 5 premiere averaged 3.5 million viewers — yes, the decimal’s in the right place — up  21 percent from the previous season opener. Of those, 1.6 million were the 18- to 49-year-olds most advertisers pay to reach. A repeat airing at 11 p.m. Sunday drew a further 1.1 million viewers.

Those really are good numbers for “Mad Men,” a show that’s often appeared to be more written about than actually watched.

Still, they pale beside the 9 million viewers the season finale of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” drew the previous week.

AMC is available, by the way, in more than 97 million homes.