By Jennifer Armstrong
Updated July 26, 2010 at 08:06 PM EDT

Image Credit: AMCTurns out Mad Men has the wealthiest fans in all of cable TV land, according to The Hollywood Reporter: Nearly half of its viewers make a household income of more than $100,000 a year. Though other cable hits garner much higher ratings, none come even close to the acclaimed AMC drama in terms of what portion of their fan base is loaded. For instance, USA’s Royal Pains averages 6.9 million viewers each week, but only 29 percent of them make more than $100,000 annually; TNT’s The Closer garners 5.1 million viewers a week, with only 27 percent passing the $100,000 mark.

It comes as no surprise, really, that Mad Men would blow everyone else out of the water when it comes to its viewers’ bank accounts: It is the TV-taste status symbol of the moment. Drop a Mad Men reference at a cocktail party and watch people trip over themselves to show you that they get it; admit you don’t watch the damn thing, and you’re in for 30-45 minutes of people either implying you’re an uncultured boob or belaboring how you really should immediately consume every single episode lest you miss out on the cultural event of our times. (I have friends who have actually learned just enough about the show to “pass” as viewers, for the explicit purpose of avoiding these uncomfortable confrontations.) People who watch Mad Men are a small but impassioned and homogeneous bunch. It’s the kind of show that, if you watch it and hang out with people who do, you can’t believe it has only 1.9 million viewers. Doesn’t everybody who’s anybody watch it? Well, no — only everybody who makes 100-grand a year.

What do you think, PopWatchers? Any other theories as to why Mad Men viewers have so much cash?