Final Season of ‘Mad Men’ Will Be 14 Episodes, Split Between 2014 & 2015

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Mad Men Season 6 Final Season of Mad Men Will Be 14 Episodes, Split Between 2014 & 2015

Although it is unlikely that this news will be met with anything but contempt and opposition, let’s try and put a positive spin on AMC’s recent Mad Men announcement. First the good news: The final season of Matthew Weiner’s acclaimed and influential period drama will now be 14 episodes long, rather than the usual 13. That’s one additional hour of Don Draper’s boozy existential angst, Roger Sterling’s boozy wit and one last chance to have yet another child actor assume the role Bobby Draper. The bad news: The final episodes won’t air until the spring of 2015.

That’s right, AMC has announced that it will be giving Mad Men the ol’ Breaking Bad treatment by splitting up its final season into two 7-episode airings, which the network has playfully referred to as serving up a “Seven and Seven” – although they probably should have simply acknowledged the show’s ubiquitous theme of duality. According to a press release from AMC, the seventh season premiere will still take place in the spring of 2014 and is being referred to as “The Beginning,” while the second batch, currently known as “The End of an Era,” will begin airing in the spring of 2015.

Clever cocktail references aside, the news doesn’t come as a complete surprise, as the network is merely taking a page out of its own recently developed playbook after the aforementioned return of Walter White and company netted Breaking Bad its highest ratings ever. And considering the recent announcement that it would be spinning off The Walking Dead with a companion series not hosted by Chris Hardwick, AMC is clearly eager to try and make the most out of what’s working best.

Elisabeth Moss in Mad Men For Immediate Release Final Season of Mad Men Will Be 14 Episodes, Split Between 2014 & 2015

In fact, AMC President Charlie Collier put the ratings spin on the announcement by referencing that recent uptick in viewers for the final season of Breaking Bad, but he also suggested that the split was simultaneously intended to ensure that the network’s flagship series would be given the send-off it deserves – i.e., with all eyes (that means you Emmy awards) on Mad Men and Mad Men alone when it drunkenly hails the cab that will take it off the airwaves for good.

Collier said:

“This approach has worked well for many programs across multiple networks, and, most recently for us with Breaking Bad which attracted nearly double the number of viewers to its second half premiere than had watched any previous episode. We are determined to bring Mad Men a similar showcase.  In an era where high-end content is savored and analyzed, and catch-up time is used well to drive back to live events, we believe this is the best way to release the now 14 episodes than remain of this iconic series.”

While the move suggests that AMC is parting fitfully with a beloved program that has brought it a great deal of attention and acclaim (and some grief), the real issue may be a question of what the network has at the ready to replace awards-friendly programs such as Mad Men and Breaking Bad. At the moment, there is the Revolutionary War drama Turn, and Halt & Catch Fire, a program about the computer boom of the 1980s. Both could be considered buzz-worthy, but the plain and simple fact is that AMC wants a culturally relevant, zeitgeist-y show as much as any other television network. And until something on its development slate becomes that unexpected hit, it will be inclined to hold onto Mad Men for as long as it can.

Jessica Pare and Jon Hamm in Mad Men The Doorway Final Season of Mad Men Will Be 14 Episodes, Split Between 2014 & 2015

Still, the concern for fans is how the split will affect the storyline. Unlike Breaking Bad, there is no clearly defined plot or central mystery to Mad Men, its narrative doesn’t run in a manner that will necessarily generate a great deal of buzz by having the story go on hiatus for a year at the halfway point. But series creator Matthew Weiner is quick to assuage such worry by suggesting the extra time will allow for the audience to process the events a bit more, and, certainly, that time off between the first and second seven episodes will grant Weiner and his team of writers an opportunity to develop the strongest conclusion to their story as possible.

Weiner said:

“We plan to take advantage of this chance to have a more elaborate story told in two parts, which can resonate a little bit longer in the minds of our audience. The writers, cast and other artists welcome this unique manner of ending this unique experience.”

While that “unique manner” definitely takes some of the urgency and anticipation out of what would have been the final season of one of television’s finest dramas ever, the split schedule will likely do very little to affect the outcome of Matthew Weiner’s story (aside from offering him the opportunity to refine it and craft something incredible and special). And besides, even if it’s just an additional episode one year later, more Mad Men always sounds like a pretty good idea.


The first half of Mad Men season 7 will air sometime in the spring of 2014 on AMC.

Source: AMC

TAGS: Mad men
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  1. I know, take the 14 episodes and air one per year, that way it can air through 2027!

  2. See, I can imagine a lot of US viewers complaining about this decision but having grown up with shows having that many episodes per season (never understood the need to have a season lasting for 20 or more episodes, split it into several seasons instead), I can see how it’s being done this way to leave fans wanting more.

    Not that I can comment on much about this show because I’ve never seen it nor have the desire to do so but that’s something else entirely.

  3. This will end up happening one of two ways. Firstly fans of the show (i personally stopped watching after season 3) will grip and hold to every word in every episode until the end of the show. Or secondly they will continue to lose interest in the show because of the huge gap in the season and the ratings will plummet. One of those two will happen.

  4. If the second half of Mad Men turns out as good as the second half of Breaking Bad I will happily wait

    • You are counting on Lightning to strike twice and as much as that would be great I doubt it. Although Breaking Bad has been incredible so far I still wish it would have been finished last year. I hate it when they drag this stuff out.

  5. Seriously? So lame, AMC.

  6. They are doing this to bide them time as they figure out a Mad Men spinoff. Also, this allows them to explore two fully fleshed out story arcs. If it were to play continuously, the reset button of episode 8 would be a big turn off. Doctor Who has done this the last couple seasons, it didn’t quite work out this season though. USA does this alot too, but then again USA is second rate fluffy bears tv compared to AMC.

  7. AMC mistakenly thinks people will accept the same thing they did to Breaking Bad. Splitting it up and calling it “2 Seasons”. DUmped this boring show Long ago.

  8. Remember when mini-series were big? I could barely wait 22 hours to find out what happened next. Now I’ll have to wait another year? For an ending? Sorry AMC. I quit watching the ‘Sopranos’ when HBO waited over a year to bring out the new season. Reason? I no longer cared and I wasn’t alone. I fear AMC will suffer the same fate. I’m already on the fence for opting out of your final season(s) as seven episodes plus one year then another seven episodes is a crap idea. Just ask David Chase how long the stigma lasts for such an idea.

  9. i hope the second half leaks and ruins everything for AMC

  10. Utter Crap! I’m boycotting. By definition, If there is a year in between episodes then it isn’t a mid-season finally or one season, it’s two 7 episode seasons. And 7 episodes per season SUCKS.

    The only reason Breaking Bad did so well is because it’s a much better show with way more anticipation of the ending (I doubt Don is gonna die at the end). The fact that he said its for double the ratings is basically AMC saying we don’t give a crap about our viewers.

    If a show is so expensive that you need to do 7 episode seasons then fine if you do it from the beginning, but this isn’t and he admitted they care about ratings more then the viewers. I will not pay or give ratings to the last half at all. I’m not watching “Turn” solely because of these pricks that run this network- I’ll be downloading when series is over.

    efffffffffffffffdf u AMC

    • Agreed, I would’ve enjoyed Breaking Bad more if I would’ve been able to remember the first half of the season. Mad men is even more nuanced, all the little set ups and small things would pay off if it wasn’t 10 months in between episodes. The show runner shouldn’t be happy about this it breaks up payoffs within the season ans for Mad Men that is not a good idea.

      The incoherent “coming up on Mad Men” clips drive me insane- I’d rather not see a preview.

  11. It’s all about the money, not what we, the loyal viewers want!

  12. When is Mad Men returning new season>

  13. The split-season model infuriates me. It all started, or at least I first experienced it when I paid in advance on Apple TV for a full season of Walking Dead, and half way through the network changed their model. Months later I did in fact get a refund for the fact I was only delivered 1/2 of what I paid for but still. Another thing that drives me crazy is Apple TV doesn’t release the episodes until sometimes a full day later after initial broadcast.

    I am typically not one who pirates anything, I support the arts, and I work in film… I may sound a bit like a hypocrite, but honestly, slow / delayed delivery, split seasons (call them what they are… A SEPARATE SEASON), has made me re-evaluate my principles.

    Giganews Subscription $19.95 Month. VPN $3.95 Month NewsBin Software $19.95 One Time – Total $24.00/mo plus one time software fee.

    Head to Search for Show and Episode Mad Men S07E02 Import NZBSEARCH into Software, and you get a commercial free 1080p Rip of the show typically available 10 minutes after East Coast Viewing Time.

    Way cheaper, and faster, and honestly the rips are better quality in terms of compression compared to Amazon/Apple. I also don’t have to wait a FULL day or more.

    Until they fix these issues, I’ll just use the above method for faster higher quality commercial free rips available within minutes. I don’t have cable (what’s the point anymore with 100 Mbps Internet) as I can download a 5 GB episode in like 4 minutes.

  14. Making everyone wait this long for a finale is just making everyone forget about the show! Distance does NOT make the heart grow fonder. That applies here. I’d almost forgotten about it, and when I looked it up……still now out? The anticipation is over!