"Rubicon" premiered on AMC on Sunday night and scored the network's best ratings ever for an original series. Some 2 million viewers tuned in to watch the conspiracy-theory thriller from 8-10 p.m.
The second episode of season four of the retro ad agency drama "Mad Men" aired immediately after and was watched by about 2.5 million viewers.
"Rubicon" stars James Badge Dale as an intelligence analyst who uncovers a shadowy government agency.
AMC has been building momentum with its original programming since the debut of "Mad Men" in 2007. "Rubicon" is the network's third original series after "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad," which led AMC to an impressive 26 Emmy nominations — more than any other cable network. The pair of hits have also helped AMC gain ground against premium cable competitors HBO and Showtime.
AMC's president and general manager Charlie Collier said the ratings for the "Rubicon" mean the network is "now three for three with our original series."
A sneak preview of "Rubicon's" pilot episode first aired after the season-three premiere of "Breaking Bad" and again after the first episode of "Mad Men" season four July 25. Following Sunday's two-hour primetime premiere event, "Rubicon" will move to the 9 p.m. Sunday time slot.