AMC has announced that the fourth season of its critically lauded series Mad Men will begin airing on July 25 this year.  Meanwhile, if show creator Matthew Weiner has his way, the 1960s-set TV drama will run no longer than six seasons.

For those unfamiliar with the series, Mad Men revolves around the prestigious advertising firm Sterling & Cooper, a New York-based organization circa 1960.

The show revolves primarily around Don Draper (Jon Hamm), an ingenious salesman with a mysterious past who embraces the elite, deeply segregated world around him — one where individuals are rarely found without either a martini and/or a cigarette in hand — at the cost of his sense of integrity and his quietly suffering wife, Betty (January Jones) and family.

Without SPOILING anything for those not up to date on the show, the third season of Mad Men concluded with a series of life-changing events for both the Draper family and the employees of Sterling & Cooper.  Needless to say, fans have been eagerly awaiting the start of a fourth season ever since.

Life will be even more interesting for Don Draper in Mad Men's fourth season.

That said, series creator and head writer Matthew Weiner spoke last week at the National Association of Broadcasters convention and revealed that — should the show last long enough — he has plans to end Mad Men after its sixth season.

AMC executives released the following statement to — sort of — show their support for this as well:

“No one wants to see Don Draper wearing a leisure suit.  We trust Matthew’s vision and that he knows where to take the show.  But with that said, ‘M*A*S*H’ figured how to stretch the Korean War for more than a decade, so stay tuned.”

Mad Men has been both an immense critical success — it’s won both the Emmy and Golden Globe for Best Dramatic TV Series two years in a row now — and a popular ratings draw for a cable television show.  So, while the head executives over at AMC would understandably want to keep the series going for as long as they can, Weiner obviously has a good deal of influence on the fate of Mad Men as well.

Besides that, there have been numerous shows in the past that have continued on past their prime.  The production/costume design, acting, writing, and cinematography of Mad Men is all top of the line and it’d be a shame to see the series sacrifice its quality at the whim of TV executives who refuse to acknowledge when their product has run its course.

Happy Days, the show that coined the phrase "jumped the shark."

So how do you folks feel?  Excited for Mad Men season four?  Glad that there won’t be more than six seasons?

The countdown to July 25th and the start of the new season of Mad Men starts now. :)

Source: THR