Dons Rule AMC: 'Godfather' and 'Mad Men'

The network known for one Don has sewed up another. AMC has a deal giving it exclusive cable rights to "The Godfather" films through 2019.

Don Corleone and the three "Godfather" films will be on AMC starting in January, per an agreement with Paramount. The first "Godfather" debuted in 1972, followed by "Part II" two years later and a third rendition in 1990.

"The Godfather" has been a cable staple for years, but the nine-year deal marks the longest rights arrangement for the iconic films. AMC also gets VOD rights, and some other related content from Paramount.

As godfather Don Corleone (Marlon Brando) becomes an AMC staple, "Mad Men's" tortured Don Draper (Jon Hamm) continues to be a boon for the channel. Unlike most series that lose steam as they advance, "Mad Men" keeps building its audience, with viewership in the key 18-to-49 demo up 22% this season.

Through its first six episodes, "Mad Men" 2010 is drawing an average of 1.02 million viewers (.77 rating) in the demo -- above 835,000 (.63) for the opening six last summer. The numbers are for live-plus-same-day performance covering each episode's weekly debut and don't account for other runs or VOD consumption.



In its fourth season, "Mad Men" started later this summer -- Aug. 16 vs. July 25 -- meaning its last seven episodes will go deeper into the fall when competition is heightened by fresh dramas on the broadcast networks. Yet despite its increased ratings, "Mad Men" would not have made it into the top 135 shows on broadcast in the 18-to-49 demo last season.

This summer, "Mad Men" is set in 1964. It will likely continue long enough for viewers to get a sense of how the Vietnam War affects Draper, a tortured Korean War vet. His reaction to Watergate and the 1972 premiere of "The Godfather" is less likely, since the show is quintessentially 1960s.

Next story loading loading..