July 19 marks the 10th anniversary of the premiere of “Mad Men,” the AMC drama about 1960s advertising execs that would go on to become one of the most acclaimed series in TV history.
Here are five things to know about that very first episode:
1. The episode, titled “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,” was written by series creator Matthew Weiner. It would go on to win an Emmy for outstanding writing in a drama series.
2. Principal photography was done at Silvercup Studios in Long Island City, with some exteriors shot at various locations around the city. Subsequent episodes were filmed in Los Angeles.
3. The first vintage song heard on the episode was Don Cherry’s “Band of Gold” (which was a Top 10 hit in 1956, even though the episode took place in 1960).
4. According to the Nielsen Media Research, the episode garnered a rating of 1.4 (1.2 million households).
5. Most of the reviews were positive. USA Today said “Mad Men” was a “joy to watch,” while the Chicago Tribune called it an “intelligently made character drama.”
But Newsday’s TV writer Diane Werts was not impressed, even though she said she wanted so much to like the show. In her review, she wrote: “To steal from the old beer slogan, (this show) looks great, (but it’s) less filling (than it intends).”