AMC announced today the seventh and final season of “Mad Men” will be broken up in two parts, airing seven episodes in the spring of 2014 and seven more in the spring of 2015. In related news, AMC really likes the number seven. While it’s nice to have “Mad Men” on the air longer than expected, this isn’t in service of the fans. There has been a dramatic uptick in ratings for “Breaking Bad” this final season and AMC hopes to produce similar numbers for “Mad Men.”
“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,” AMC president Charlie Collier said in today’s press release.
AMC is stretching out its two best series as long as it can, which will probably irk many “Mad Men” fans. The split final season strategy hasn’t exactly been embraced by “Breaking Bad” watchers. (Although, I don’t know if anyone could take the final 16 episodes of “Breaking Bad” in consecutive weeks. Aren’t we all reeling from Sunday’s “Ozymandias”?)
Anyway, there are silver linings to this news. “Mad Men” will get one extra episode to properly wrap up the lives of its dysfunctional characters. It also means “Mad Men,” and more importantly Jon Hamm, will be eligible for 2015 Emmy consideration. No series or lead actor has a chance at taking home statues this Sunday (I’ll have an Emmy preview blog later this week) or next year with “Breaking Bad” and Bryan Cranston on the ballot. But maybe “Mad Men” wins Best Drama for its’ final half season/seven episodes/whatever, and Jon Hamm gets the Emmy he deserves.