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Emmy judges love 30 Rock, Mad Men; viewers not so much

By Emily Morgan

September 22, 2008 at 2:06pm

They’re far from the most-watched shows on television, but 30 Rock and Mad Men were the big winners at last night’s 60th Emmy Awards ceremony.

30 Rock took home the award for outstanding comedy series, with leading actor awards going to its stars Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin. Fey, 30 Rock’s producer and creator, also won for outstanding writing for a comedy series.

As she accepted her Emmys, Fey took the opportunity to plug 30 Rock, which despite its critical acclaim, has not excelled in the ratings.

After 30 Rock took the Emmy for best comedy series last year, Fey thanked her “dozens” of viewers. This year, she reminded the audience that her show could be “viewed on NBC.com, Hulu, iTunes, United Airlines and occasionally on actual television.”

30 Rock currently averages about 5 million viewers per episode, ranking it far below the popular Two and a Half Men, which has won Emmys only in technical categories and averages 15 million viewers per episode.

The winner for best drama series could also use the Emmy publicity to increase viewership.

The award for outstanding drama series went to AMC’s Mad Men, making it the first basic cable show to win in the drama category. The show, which averaged a mere 915,000 viewers in its first season, scored an additional five Emmys, including outstanding writing for a drama series.

New episodes of 30 Rock restart October 30th on NBC, with guest stars Jennifer Aniston and Oprah Winfrey slated to appear in the third season.

AMC is in the midst of airing the second season of Mad Men, on Sundays at 10 p.m.

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