'Mad Men' Final Season to Be Split Into Two Seven-Episode Halves

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September 17th, 2013

Mad Men Draper



AMC Orders Extra Episode, 14 Episodes To Be Equally Portioned Between Spring 2014 And 2015


NEW YORK, NY, Sept. 17, 2013 – AMC announced today that the final season of the Lionsgate series Mad Men will be expanded to 14 episodes and equally portioned with seven episodes airing in spring of 2014 (“The Beginning”) and the final seven episodes of this iconic series (“The End of an Era”) airing in the spring of 2015.


“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,” said Charlie Collier, AMC president. “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.”


“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,” said Matthew Weiner, creator and executive producer, Mad Men. “The writers, cast and other artists welcome this unique manner of ending this unique experience.”


"Mad Men has had a transcendent impact on our popular culture, and it has played a prominent role in building our Lionsgate brand," said Kevin Beggs, Chairman, Lionsgate Television Group. “We anticipate a remarkable seventh season thanks to the brilliance of Matthew Weiner, the entire creative and production team, and our tremendous partnership with AMC.  We’re all working to ensure that the series will have the kind of powerful send-off it so richly deserves.”


The first half of the final season of Mad Men will premiere on AMC this spring.


Since the series premiere in 2007, “Mad Men” has become one of television’s
most honored shows.  The show has earned six Emmy® Award nominations for Outstanding Drama Series leading to four wins for Outstanding Drama Series.  Additional honors for the series includes:  three Golden Globe® Awards for Best Television Drama Series; a Peabody Award; three Producers Guild Awards; four Writers Guild Awards; two BAFTA Awards; five Television Critics Association Awards including Program of the Year, and being named five years running to AFI’s Top 10 Outstanding Television Programs.

The show stars Jon Hamm, January Jones, Vincent Karthheiser, Elisabeth Moss, Christina Hendricks, John Slattery, Aaron Staton, Rich Sommer, Robert Morse, Kiernan Shipka, Jessica Pare and Kevin Rahm.

  • Jared

    Got to hand it to the AMC executives – this is one way to stem the bleeding. They recognize that they are facing a programming crisis with the end of Breaking Bad, the cancellation of The Killing, the failure of Low Winter Sun, and Hell on Wheels lingering in Saturday purgatory (where they placed it, but whatever). So they order spinoffs of their two most successful shows – “Better Call Saul” out of Breaking Bad and the just-announced Walking Dead ‘companion series’ – and stretch their one remaining critically successful show out over two years. That’s about the quickest and dirtiest way to patch over the holes that have sprung up in their once-unimpeachable slate. Yes, they did recently order two new series – ‘Halt & Catch Fire’ and ‘Turn’ – but those two period pieces don’t exactly scream out ‘commercial success’. They’ll have to be good in their own right, something which is far from a given with AMC’s recent track-record of development. Maybe, if the people truly are crying out for Better Call Saul and The Walking Dead: Los Angeles, this will buy AMC the time and the cover they need to find new original hits and right the ship. I would not bet on it, however.

    Personally, I’m skeptical that this approach will yield the kind of ratings boost that AMC is hoping for. Unlike Breaking Bad or The Walking Dead, Mad Men has never been a water-cooler hit with the general public. Yes, the show’s ratings have been increasing for the past few reasons – correlated (I won’t presume cause and effect) with the availability of the show for streaming on Netflix. But Mad Men has never been a plot-driven show, and as fantastically rich as Breaking Bad is from a character and thematic perspective, I believe that it’s the relentlessly accelerating plot that has driven most of the hype around this final half-season – and with it, the massive jump in ratings. I personally can’t see any possible event within the context of the show that would inspire rabid discussion on the level of Hank’s revelation in “Gliding Over All” or the shootout in “To’hajiilee” last week. Matt Weiner is not going to have Don Draper and Roger Sterling duel to the death in the streets of Manhattan, and even if he did, I doubt that it would strike such a chord with the casual viewer that they would think – “Oh, man. I HAVE to watch this show now”.

  • scJohn

    I really hate it when networks do this.

    If it’s 12 months between 2 episodes, is this not 2 seasons of 7 episodes.

  • ChipL955

    I love the way various networks and shows define “seasons.” AMC defines two seven-episode sequences, aired over two calendar years, as “one season.” Last night, on ABC, Tom Bergeron mentioned that this was the beginning of the “fifteenth season” of “Dancing with the Stars.”

    A season to me constitutes any and all new episodes of a series that complete their initial run before the beginning of the new television year in September. So “Dancing with the Stars” is beginning its tenth season.

    The television academy awards its Emmys on the basis of programs airing during a one-year season, so it sounds to me like “Mad Men” will end after its eighth season, no matter how Anthony Weiner spins it. Unless, of course, the producers want to withdraw the show from eligibility for one of those years because the show hadn’t finished airing its “season” yet — which I’m sure is not in the cards!

  • Nick

    I love Mad Men. Dumb idea.

    Breaking Bad seasons 2-4 were 13 episodes each (s1 was shorter due to the WGA strike).

    The final season was split into two halves of 8 episodes each. Accordingly, fans got 3 extra hours of greatness to justify the split.

    Here, we’re only getting 1 extra hour. Not enough to justify breaking up the story – especially on Mad Men which is historically more methodical and generally really gets rolling in the second half of each season.

    If we were getting two halves of 8-10 episodes each, I would be on board and grateful for the additional hours of Mad Men – but splitting it up for one additional ep? Not worth the wait and not worth killing the momentum.

  • Pepper

    lmao Mad Men thinking it’s on the same level as BrBa

  • j

    “lmao Mad Men thinking it’s on the same level as BrBa”

    Yes, Mad Men is a sentient being with thoughts. Anyway, the person comparing the 2 in the release is the AMC president, not the guy running the show.

    Financially it shouldn’t make a big difference, with just one more ep. I think the above Jared is right. It would be awkward to have the 2014-2015 season with a total of 1 established show.

  • Dee

    I have officially given up on this show. I lost interest last year in S5, but caught up to watch s6 because I thought it would be the last. Then they say that s7 would be the last. I am over this pushing off of the end BS that is going on. I am done with the show, and ready for it to be over. I can’t watch 2 more years of it, and I most likely won’t watch s6 at this point because I just don’t care. And the thing about it is, I am sure I am not the only one. I am positive that the viewer intrest has peaked off and has fallen, and to push off the end even more is just continuing the problem. Terrible decision AMC.

  • Nothing But Cancellation

    Is AMC trying to monopolize the Emmys with Breaking Bad in 2014 and Mad Men in 2015?

  • The Original J


    Your comment is far too intelligent for this comment section. Please stop making well-reasoned points. Try to focus on typing stuff like “lol” and “AMC FAIL.”

  • Feedback

    Why not expand the season to 26 episodes and split it into two 13-episode halves??

  • Jon Snow

    Next announcement: Nikita’s final season to be split into two three-episode halves.

  • zillajay23

    This is really disappointing Mad Men is one of the Great shows of all time and the fans deserved the final Season 7 to be 13 episodes without interruption just like every other Season.

  • Cartoonist on duty!

    Me no likey.

    The split into 2 “mini seasons” is primarily why I stopped watching The Walking Dead.

    Not a great idea for Mad Men, either.

  • Evan

    I think it’s ridiculous how AMC keeps doing this to their shows that are ending to just squeeze another season out of their shows. With Breaking Bad it made no sense to do it and it makes even less sense to do it just for 14 episodes. Mad Men usually airs 13 episodes and they are gonna give it 1 more episode and split the seasons up?

    I do think that a shorter season might work out for Mad Men since I tend to get bored in the middle of the seasons usually but I still think it’s a stupid ploy in order to get another emmy year out of the show.

  • JD

    I don’t mind it but why not make it 8 episodes each half for 16? That would mean two full months for each half, rather than a bit less.

  • Ultima

    Is there a minimum number of episodes threshold to be considered a “season”?

    Not really; there is (or was) a minimum number of regular airings required for Nielsen to count a show in the end of season rankings, but I don’t think they do season (calendar year) show listings for cable.

    In any case, there have been plenty of shows with shorter seasons than this (e.g. season one of The Office was six episodes).

  • Ultima

    With Breaking Bad it made no sense to do it

    The ridiculous ratings Breaking Bad is getting this year suggests otherwise.

  • Dan

    Just air 2 episodes a year, Jon Hamms bound to win an emmy by 2020

  • DonJ1973

    I’m waiting for AMC to greenlight, Talking Men, a 30 minute talk show like Talking Dead and Talking Bad.

  • josh

    With Breaking Bad it made no sense to do it

    The ridiculous ratings Breaking Bad is getting this year suggests otherwise

    It wont work .Breaking bad was a sleeper hit You know it everybody knows it

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